Stories of Desire

How desire can explain all living events.

A mosquito bite is good way of understanding Deleuze and Guattari’s definition of desire. For them, desire is a cut in a flow and the start of another flow. We see this in the mosquito: interrupted in flight and redirected by our emission of CO2, cutting the flow of our blood for its progeny, but also injecting saliva into our blood flow, leading to the itch.

For Deleuze and Guattari, desire is an explanatory model for all living events, not only the mosquito bite then, but also our subsequent behaviour, when we scratch to stop the flow of irritation from the swelling. Desire explains why we act in certain ways and what goes on when we do so. It is a very simple model with complex ramifications and surprising implications.

The implication I want to draw attention to is in the distinction between desiring and willing. From Deleuze and Guattari’s point of view it is a common but dangerous mistake to confuse the wide-ranging process of desire, found in plants, animals a

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