From: "John S. Ransom" <dickinson@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 1999 12:53:07 +0200
Just wanted to agree with one particular point below:
----- Original Message -----
From: Matthew King <making@xxxxxxxx>
Sent: Friday, October 22, 1999 7:57 PM
Subject: Re: foucault/derrida
> Coincidentally enough, I started reading Derrida's essay just before it
> came up on the list. Haven't finished it off yet--but what's bugging me,
> so far, is this notion that Foucault is attempting "to speak the silenced
> language of madness." I know that Foucault says something in the preface
> (but there are at least a couple of prefaces, aren't there?) to that
> effect, but if you look at what we have in English, anyway, he isn't doing
> anything that looks like that kind of attempt. He's just writing a
> history--if not a standard kind of history (though I don't know how it's
> so un-standard, either), at least he's writing it in a standard kind of
> way, a standard kind of language. It's not an attempt at "writing madly".
> Derrida's point appears to be that it's a failed attempt, but I don't
> see how it's even an attempt. So--I don't quite get what the issue is
> supposed to be.
This is exactly how I feel. I never get the feeling that Foucault is trying
to speak some sort of undisciplined form of madness or trying to say how
great it is to be insane and traveling around in boats throughout Europe.
It's a history and we're allowed to see how 'power' and 'knowledge' come
together in form of Tuke and Pinel (I hope I have the names right) and the
whole psychology/madness industry that grows up in the nineteenth century.
> By the way, does anyone know if anyone anywhere has given any serious
> thought to translating the whole French text?
> ---Matthew A. King---Department of Philosophy---York University,
> "Whatever we have words for, that we have already got beyond.
> In all talk there is a grain of contempt."