Last week I posted about Time magazine’s profile of Foucault from 1981. The piece included this photograph:
James Miller‘s biography of Foucault says that this picture was of Simeon Wade, and Wade’s friend ‘Michael’ (The Passion of Michel Foucault, pp. 437-8 n. 1). Who is Simeon Wade? Well he’s an interesting figure in Foucault’s California story, because he was the author of an unpublished “121 page typescript”, ‘Foucault in California’, which recounts Foucault’s 1975 LSD trip in Death Valley. Miller discusses this in Chapter 8 of his book. I’m somewhat sceptical about this story and what has been made of it. I discuss it briefly in a 2005 piece that was a kind of prelude to the work I am now doing in much more detail – I am not sure if that particular discussion will make it into the book.
But Wade is also interesting for another reason: he interviewed Foucault in 1976 in a piece which was first published in 1978 in a publication he edited – Chez Foucault, Los Angeles: Circabook, 1978, pp. 4-22. This text is translated into French for Dits et écrits (online here). My practice with texts originally published in English, and for which the Dits et écrits version is already once removed, is to try to find the original. This is often challenging, but in this case, it’s proved impossible. Dits et écrits describes the publication this way – “The Circabook is a sort of campus polycopié” – a handout or pamphlet, a mimeograph. I’ve been told by a reliable source that it was effectively a fanzine. I can find no library that has a copy.
So, has anyone ever seen this in the original? I’ve been unable to find contact details for Wade. Any information gratefully received.
Update: 21 Feb 2015 – I now have a scanned copy of this rare document, which can be downloaded here.