‘Transversality’ is a key term in the work of Felix Guattari. As a conceptual and pragmatic motor for the generation of heterogeneity, it extends throughout all of his work, including the writing he undertook with Deleuze. It promotes the rupture and redistribution of hierarchical structures, the mobilisation of operations of deterritorialisation across the social and cultural field, and it gains a ‘chaosmic’ dimension in the later writings. Its ‘origins’, however, are to be found in Guattari’s early work at the Clinique de la Borde and in militant Marxist movements in the 1950s and early 1960s. This is an initial and necessarily provisional effort to embed the concept in a social and therapeutic pragmatics and thus counter a debateable tendency towards a dilution or diffusion of transversality in theoretical abstraction, where it risks becoming a synonym for a generalised sense of creative differentiation.
- Félix Guattari