There is no straightforward way to say what schizoanalysis is. The problem
is not so much that the question is not answered by Deleuze and Guattari
or that it is somehow unanswerable; rather the problem is that it has several
answers. Unwilling to provide any kind of 'formula' or 'model' that
would enable us to simply 'do' schizoanalysis as a tick-box exercise in which
everything relates inexorably to one single factor (e.g. the family), which
is what they thought psychoanalysis had become, Deleuze and Guattari
observe a quite deliberate strategy of providing multiple answers to the
questions their work raises. Guattari's insistence that schizoanalysis is a
form of meta-modelling makes it clear that this supple approach is quite
deliberate. Meta-modelling is something like the 'scenario planning' utilised
by 'risk managers' in complex organisations who try to foresee and 'manage'
the variety of possible transformations an institution such as a university
might undergo if circumstances changed (e.g. how would it cope with an
earthquake?). Meta-modelling tries to grapple with the realm of 'what might
happen' that constantly dogs the realm of 'what is happening'. Deleuze
and Guattari's elaborate system of new terms and concepts (many of them
contrived from obscure literary sources) is of a piece with this strategy of
providing multiple answers to basic questions and should be seen as deliberately
guarding against the reductive tendencies of the 'practically-minded'.
As I will explain in more detail in what follows, one has to read Deleuze
and Guattari's work with an eye toward the resonances (which is not to say
equivalences) between their many ideas and from that develop a 'machine'
that can be put to new purposes. This is not to say schizoanalysis is either
incoherent or impractical, as many of its detractors are quick to claim, but to
insist that its practice cannot be divorced from its theory and that to engage
With one it is necessary to engage with the other.