Moby Dick: The Becoming Whale of Captain Ahab poster


Selected from Marc Ngui’s Drawing a Thousand Plateaus project, this is a drawing illustrating Paragraph 18 in the chapter “1730: Becoming-Intense, Becoming-Animal, Becoming Imperceptible” of the book A Thousand Plateaus.

Written by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari originally in French, Marc is reading the English version of the book and translating it into a visual format.

These high quality posters are printed by Printful on thick, matte, archival paper and come in 2 sizes, 12 x 16 inches and 16 x 20 inches.

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From Paragraph 11, 10,000BC: The Geology of Morals
A Thousand Plateaus, by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari:

Panel 1

It does seem as though there is a contradiction: between the pack and the loner; between mass contagion and preferential alliance; between pure multiplicity and the exceptional individual; between the aleatory aggregate and a predestined choice. And the contradiction is real: Ahab chooses Moby-Dick, in a choosing that exceeds him and comes from elsewhere, and in so doing breaks with the law of the whalers according to which one should first pursue the pack. Penthesilea shatters the law of the pack, the pack of women, the pack of she-dogs, by choosing Achilles as her favorite enemy. Yet it is by means of this anomalous choice that each enters into his or her becoming-animal, the becoming-dog of Penthesilea, the becoming-whale of Captain Ahab.

Panel 2

The anomalous is neither an individual nor a species; it has only affects, it has neither familiar or subjectified feelings, nor specific or significant characteristics. Human tenderness is as foreign to it as human classifications. Lovecraft applies the term "Outsider" to this thing or entity, the Thing, which arrives and passes at the edge, which is linear yet multiple, "teeming, seething, swelling, foaming, spreading like an infectious disease, this nameless horror."

Moby Dick: The Becoming Whale of Captain Ahab poster