This article discusses the significance of Gilles Deleuze's almost passing references to East Asian thought. Even though Deleuze comes to these ideas through the work of other European thinkers—most notably Friedrich Nietzsche, Sergei Eisenstein, François Jullien, and Alan Watts—the article argues that there are ultimately deep resonances between Deleuze's philosophy, especially in its Bergso‐Leibnizian articulations, and specific East Asian ideas. The article begins by cataloging and commenting upon Deleuze's various references to Chinese and Japanese thought generally before discussing how one particular concept—that of the gap (écart)—not only lies at the heart of his metaphysics but also forms the very basis for developing an adequate methodology for negotiating his encounter with East Asia. Finally, by also considering some of Jullien's recent ideas, the article examines the ways in which this methodology of the gap may be more adequate than other attempts to characterize contemporary comparative philosophy.

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