From: "Stuart Elden" <Stuart.Elden@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 23 May 1999 14:24:45 +0100
Matthew wrote (or perhaps rather, reported):-
>> and waht do you mean by: Ah, "the French Foucault" rears his ugly
>> head ;).
>Some--Vincent Descombes, Richard Rorty--find that there is a Nietzschean-
>anarchist version of Foucault who speaks to French audiences and a liberal
>version of Foucault who speaks to anglophone audiences. I don't know to
>what extent that is true, but it is clear from the texts that have been
>translated that Foucault does tailor what he says to suit his
>interlocutors ("Discussion with Maoists" and the discussion at the end of
>_Language, Counter-Memory, Practice_ being prime examples). As far as I
>know, none of the dispatches from Iran (or any of his other journalistic
>work) have been translated.
This is interesting, but I wonder if it is misleading. A great deal of
Foucault's more journalistic work was published in newspapers or reviews,
etc. and never collected in French until 10 years after his death. English
translators chose various pieces that would be worthy of translation and
collection. These would usually be pieces that 1. spoke to English speaking
concerns and 2. were worthy of being read after the events they spoke of had
Like I guess many journalists, Foucault wrote pieces about immediate events
that he would not have considered definitive, worthy of later collection in
book form, etc.
So I wonder if the issue is not so much between English/French as more
between considered, academic type pieces, and more political/activist,
That said, by the 80s Foucault was conducting interviews in English, and
speaking more directly to the concerns of his audience.