Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name



Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

First Advisor

Francisco J. Higuero


Spanish (Valencian) novelist Rafael Chirbes, and how this narrative production coincides with several of the philosophical concepts of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari included in works that they co-authored or in those written individually by Deleuze. The novels considered in this study are La larga marcha (1996), La caída de Madrid (2000) and Los viejos amigos (2003). The chronological period depicted in the trilogy is restricted for the most part to the years immediately preceding the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) and extending until the beginning of the Twenty-First Century. Portraying the intensive time of aion, or time that escapes chronological measure is, however, an essential feature of Chirbes's narration. Working with this second sense of time, Chirbes explores "hidden" events that escape official history and that lead individuals and societies to experiment with unplanned and untried alternatives for bringing about what Deleuze and Guattari would refer to as a "thinking otherwise" or a "calling forth" of a new people.

Other concepts include a "Minor Literature," that is a literature that "deterritorializes" language, a literature in which everything in it is immediately political, and a literature wherein everything takes on a collective value;" the "molar" or the "arborescent," which are concepts that can be described as lines of thought or states of affairs that stifle innovative or experimental approaches to life; and the "Schizos," "Rhizomes" and "Nomads" which are the bodies or assembled connections that in various ways act to evade the molar and arborescent. Each of these concepts and their connections to Chirbes's three novels are examined.

Deleuze and Chirbes shared an interest in the Irish painter Francis Bacon whose paintings, as described by both the novelist and the philosopher, succeed at portraying the a-personal forces acting upon a body. They both note as well the frequent displays of meat and flesh in Bacon's paintings. Chirbes wrote that Bacon's work influenced his narrative production, and an examination of that influence is undertaken in the present study.

Other fundamental concepts elaborated by Deleuze and Guattari such as "deterritorialization," "reterritorialization," and "becoming," find resonance in Chirbes's novels, especially within the context of advanced capitalism. Capitalism, on Deleuze and Guattari's account, has the advantage of liberating people from debilitating social structures only to reterritorialize them later within an even more distressing economic and governmental system. They call for ways to evade this impasse and one suggestion is through a becoming-other that circumvents, wholly or partially, the meek subject that advanced capitalism requires in order to sustain itself and to continuously push back its limits. Becoming other, such as a becoming-mineral or becoming-animal, consists in entering into a "zone of proximity" between one body or force and another, a merging that results in the emergence of a new entity, force or body that is better equipped to escape global capitalism's incessant demands. Chirbes's schizoids, rhizomes and nomads consistently attempt just this sort of becoming-other.