Saturday, January 16, 2010

Aimless Reading: The F's, Part 19.2 (Michel Foucault)

Foucault, Michel
Language, Counter-
Memory, Practice

Purchased at Talking Leaves...Books, I think, for a class in graduate school. I have a vague memory of having been given a xerox copy of "What is an Author?" and deciding it would be better to read it in book form. I think I did that a lot when I was living on student loans. I guess I just like buying books and reading from them. I figure I probably spend a lot less money on books than I ever did on drinking, smoking and getting high, so I am still ahead of the game, financially speaking.

I think the essay I like most out of this book, though, is "Nietzsche, Genealogy, History?" in which Foucault begins to lay out a description of his genealogical method, which examines discursive practices and their formation absent the notion of linear progression and with close attention to the context in which this practices were able to arise.

A manifesto of sorts. I like reading manifestos.

from, Nietzsche, Genealogy, History

History becomes' effective' to the degree that it introduces discontinuity into our very being – as it divides out emotions, dramatizes our instincts, multiplies our body and sets it against itself. 'Effective' history deprives the self of the reassuring stability of life and nature, and it will not permit itself to be transported by a voiceless obstinacy toward a millenial ending. It will uproot its traditional foundations and relentlessly disrupt it pretended continuity. This is because knowledge is not made for understanding; it is made for cutting.

1 comment:

Stan Apps said...

I love that essay. And so does Tova! It's one of our favorites-in-common.