From: "Patrick M. Krueger" <Patrick.Krueger@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 4 Jul 2001 12:58:19 -0600 (MDT)
knowing that foucault was a french theorist, writing at the time that he
did, and at one time served as a pupil to althessuer, helps one to
understand how his writings relate to (resonate with and resist) the
themes of structuralism, existentialism, and psychoanalysis extant in the
same or prior time periods.
knowing that foucault was a homosexual, into bath houses, part of a
marginalized group in france, and seeing gay/lesbian/queer identity
politics playing out in the US, might inform our understanding of why he
dis-favored writing with a "face" or otherwise getting involved in
identity politics (at least overtly, in his writing).
knowing his sexual preferences might also clarify his interest in the body
as a site through with power is inscribed.
i interpreted your phrase "explain a text" as if a all writing were
nothing more than a reflection of biographical circumstance (perhaps a
mis-interpretation on my part). to "inform," on the other hand, i mean
that biographical information may elucidate some of the sub-texts,
potentially clarify the author's motives for making particular arguments,
or otherwise build a richer (not necessarily better or more perfect or
even necessary) context within which to read the text.
On Wed, 4 Jul 2001, Paul Bryant wrote:
> Then specify what it means for something to "inform" a reading that
> the immanence of the text could not provide on its own. Paul