A bibliographical curiosity – ‘Michel Foucault’ and a thesis on penicillin

Michael Clark’s Michel Foucault, an Annotated Bibliography: Tool Kit for a New Age includes a curious entry on p. 3:

Clark p 3.png

“Sur l’emploi de la pénicilline par voie buccale”, Paris: Université Faculté de médecine, 1952 [?], 56 pages. The title would translate as ‘On the use of penicillin by mouth’.

Clark indicates that this is “Brief account of the therapeutic use of penicillin. (The National Union Catalog lists this as published in 1949.) It’s not clear why Clark thinks 1952 is a possible date.

Clearly this text is not by the well-known Michel Foucault, given we know that his training was in philosophy and psychology, not medicine. Later people working on Foucault, and building their own bibliographies, do not mention it. But while I’ve yet to find anyone who follows Clark, I’ve also not found anyone who explains why it is there.

I’ve not found the National Union catalogue reference, but I did find it listed in Tables des thèses soutenant devant la Faculté de Médecine en 1949, Paris: Libraire Arnette, 1950, p. 24:

Tables des theses p 24.png

FOUCAULT (Michel – Jean-Pierre) Sur l’emploi de pénicilline par voie buccale, Paris, Impr. Foulon, 56 (10-12-49).

It is also listed on p. 100. A copy of this thesis is at the Bibliothèque nationale.

Foucault 1949 - Sur l'emploi de la penicilline 1.jpg

The famous Michel Foucault was named at birth ‘Paul Michel Foucault’, though he dropped the ‘Paul’ which was his father’s name (and also, apparently, because it gave him the same initials as Pierre Mendès France). This Foucault was born in 1925, one year before his famous namesake. Whatever became of Michel Jean-Pierre Foucault? Worldcat only lists this single thesis under his name.

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