Foucault, Language, Madness, and Desire. On Literature (2015)

Foucault News

lang-mad-desireMichel Foucault, Language, Madness, and Desire. On Literature, University of Minnesota Press, 2015
Edited by Philippe Artières, Jean-François Bert, Mathieu Potte-Bonneville, and Judith Revel
Translated by Robert Bononno

As a transformative thinker of the twentieth century, whose work spanned all branches of the humanities, Michel Foucault had a complex and profound relationship with literature. And yet this critical aspect of his thought, because it was largely expressed in speeches and interviews, remains virtually unknown to even his most loyal readers. This book brings together previously unpublished transcripts of oral presentations in which Foucault speaks at length about literature and its links to some of his principal themes: madness, language and criticism, and truth and desire.

The associations between madness and language—and madness and silence—preoccupy Foucault in two 1963 radio broadcasts, presented here, in which he ranges among literary examples from Cervantes and Shakespeare to Diderot before taking up questions about…

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