Over the last week I did some further work on the timeline I mentioned in the last update. I’m finding this really useful already. In particular I used the bibliography of English translations compiled by Richard Lynch (also in A Companion to Foucault) – both so I can cross-reference between French and English texts, but also for the English texts that do not have corresponding pieces in Dits et écrits. That said I’m struck, yet again, by the interesting pieces not yet available in English. One of them is the review of François Jacob’s book La logique du vivant: Une histoire de l’hérédité, which was of significant importance to Foucault (I say a bit about why here).
I also began to re-read some of the pieces I’ve written on Foucault in the last several years, with a view to which bits I can draw on for this book.
In particular, I worked on part of the first chapter, which is a kind of prelude, entitled ‘Introducing Power’. The bit I have worked on so far is on the period of his election to the Collège de France (the ‘Candidacy Presentation’ is very interesting); his inaugural lecture ‘The Order of Discourse’; and the newly translated Lectures on the Will to Know. I wrote a review of the French edition and gave a couple of talks on those lectures – one at the Radical Foucault conference at the University of East London in 2011, and then the George M. Story lecture at Memorial University of Newfoundland earlier this year (the audio of the latter is here) – so I had a text to use and it was just a case of selecting the bits I wanted, reworking some things and checking the translations to Burchell’s version (see my comments on that here). I also worked through some other key publications from this period – ‘Nietzsche, Genealogy, History’; the debates with Chomsky, Maoists and Deleuze; and the replies to Derrida. I got a bit sidetracked by the dates of some of the Nietzsche lectures – I say why here.
The rest of Chapter One will look at the next three lecture courses and related publications. Chapter Two is where the ‘last decade’ treatment really begins.