Foucault’s Last Decade – Update 11

Update 11I’d hoped to get right back to the Foucault work on my return from Australia, mainly the chapter on governmentality, but spent much time catching up on other things and getting ready for my trip to Florida (for the AAG meeting) and then onto New York.

Instead of going straight onto a new chapter, I spent what time I had fixing a number of small things that I couldn’t address in Melbourne – mainly odd references and texts that were not available in libraries there. These included the little Archives de l’infamie collection; the book of interviews with Roger-Pol Droit; Le Cercle amoreux d’Henry Legrand; and the text of Foucault’s contribution to the 1975 Schizo-Culture conference, ‘Infantile Sexuality’. That last text, previously presented at Berkeley in May, only available in Foucault: Live, and, as far as I’m aware, not in French, is almost the Urtext of the first volume of The History of Sexuality.

I also posted a few translated excerpts from the discussion following Foucault’s 1973 Rio lectures ‘Truth and Juridical Forms’. Then, getting a bit ahead of myself, I wrote a short piece on the English language sources of the recently published L’origine de l’herméneutique de soi from late 1980.

In addition I re-read Le beau danger/Speech Begins after Death which comes from 1968 but I wanted to check for a few things. Some other things that will have minimal impact on the book itself, but were important in terms of the approach I’m taking – of following leads even when I expect they go nowhere. So I checked back to the original source of the Pierre Rivière story, and took a look at a text Foucault mentioned in a 1974 lecture, Anthropologie du conscrit français.

This now means Chapters Two to Five are in pretty good shape. Chapter One is a bit of a mess, partly because it is waiting for a section on Théories et institutions pénales to be slotted in, and because I need to cut down the discussion of La société punitive.

I’ll be in New York from mid-April to early June. My work there will be on different projects and so I’ll now put the Foucault work to one side until the summer.When I return I will at least be able to work on Foucault’s post-sabbatical lecture courses in correct order with no gaps, as Subjectivité et vérité is due out in May. I say a bit about the chronology of future courses in French and English here.

You can read more about the Foucault’s Last Decade project, along with links to previous updates, here.

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