‘The Bibliothèque Nationale is no doubt the one place in which Foucault spent the most years of his life’

As I renew my British Library card for another three years, and think all the years I’ve been working here – initially in the old reading room in the British Museum, and then for almost twenty years at the St Pancras site, I’m reminded of this comment about Foucault in the early 1950s:

This was when he developed the habit of going to the Bibliothèque Nationale every day—a habit he maintained for years, until he left for Sweden, and one he resumed upon his return to France. The BN is no doubt the one place in which Foucault spent the most years of his life.

Didier Eribon, Michel Foucault, p. 73 (French)/p. 40 (English).

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