By Michel Foucault
In 1968, Michel Foucault agreed to a chain of interviews with critic Claude Bonnefoy, which have been to be released in ebook shape. Bonnefoy sought after a discussion with Foucault approximately his dating to writing instead of concerning the content material of his books. The venture was once deserted, yet a transcript of the preliminary interview survived and is now being released for the 1st time in English. during this short and full of life trade, Foucault displays on how he approached the written be aware all through his lifestyles, from his university days to his discovery of the excitement of writing.
Wide ranging, often insightful, and abruptly autobiographical, the dialogue is revelatory of Foucault’s highbrow improvement, his goals as a author, his medical method (“let’s say I’m a diagnostician”), and his curiosity in different authors, together with Raymond Roussel and Antonin Artaud. Foucault discloses, in methods he by no means had formerly, information about his domestic lifestyles, his family members background, and the profound feel of legal responsibility he feels to the act of writing. In his advent, Philippe Artières investigates Foucault’s engagement in a variety of kinds of oral discourse—lectures, speeches, debates, press meetings, and interviews—and their position in his work.
Speech starts off after Death exhibits Foucault adopting a brand new language, an cutting edge autobiographical communique that's neither dialog nor monologue, and is one in all his so much own statements approximately his existence and writing.
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Additional info for Speech Begins after Death
In terms of my own lived experience, I have to admit that writing hasn’t presented itself that way at all. I’ve always had an almost moral suspicion of writing. Can you explain that, can you illustrate how you’ve approached writing? Once again, what interests me here is Michel Foucault when he’s writing. My answer may surprise you somewhat. I know how to conduct with myself—and I’m pleased to do so here with you—an exercise that is very di‡erent from what I’ve done with others. Whenever I’ve spoken about an author, I’ve always tried to ignore biographical factors and the social and cultural context, the field of knowledge in which the author was born and educated.
In any case, compared to the medical world in which I lived, I placed myself directly in a world of unreality, of appearances, of lies—you could almost call it a betrayal of trust—by devoting myself to writing and speculating about mental illness and medicine. I think I N T E R V I E W : F O U C A U LT A N D B O N N E F O Y that given the guilt I felt about writing, in my stubbornness to extinguish that guilt by continuing to write, there was always an element of this. I’m well aware that I shouldn’t be telling you these things; rather, I want to tell you these things, but I’m not certain they’re worth publishing.
And no doubt the devaluation I spoke of was the origin of The History of Madness. But, after all—and I apologize for choosing such an elevated example of such lofty patronage—we have known ever since Nietzsche that devaluation is an instrument of knowledge and that if we don’t shake up the customary order of hierarchies of value, the secrets of knowledge run no risk of being revealed. So, it’s possible that my contempt, this very archaic contempt, very infantile, I N T E R V I E W : F O U C A U LT A N D B O N N E F O Y and that further reflection quickly dissolved but could not entirely suppress, enabled me to discover a number of relations that I would otherwise probably have not seen.