gilles deleuze: childhood and becoming-child

walter omar kohan


This paper consists of some fragments from the writings of Gilles Deleuze that concern childhood. The goal here is not to illustrate a whole philosophical doctrine of childhood, but to present and make accessible to the readers some texts that may inspire them. Deleuze’s interest in childhood took many forms. He published a book for children with Jacqueline Duhême. Of course, this book was not written especially for children: it was composed of already-published texts from his earlier works. We also find childhood strongly represented in his autobiographical testimony Abécédaire, where it is one of the concepts upon which he comments. Beyond that and more generally, all of his work carries the motives of childhood—full of a childlike desire to rethink the the stereotypes and the commonplaces, and to wake up the spaces not yet thought in which the adult discourses of childhood and practices with children most often consist. We chose passages from numerous references, particularly Difference and Repetition, A Thousand Plateaus (composed with Félix Guattari), and the already cited Abécédaire. They are presented in chronological order. We also include transcripts from Deleuze’s classes at the University of Vincennes-Saint Denis (accessible at:


Deleuze, childhood, becoming-child


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e-issn 1984-5987 | p-issn 2525-5061