Re: A non-defense ofthe Miller book.

In Article <199504120012.RAA04121@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
chaulk@xxxxxxxxxxxx writes:

> I disliked Miller's book primarily because I thought it attempted to trivial
> Foucault, by reducing his body of texts to the end result of some aberant
> Frenchman. It reminded me of Habermas's Modernity travesty (wherein he


The Miller volume clearly elicits an enormous range of reader
responses. Although I much preferred the Macey, I did not reject
the Miller as an attack on Foucault. Regardless, I would like to
suggest a hypothesis (perhaps a question) and get some responses
from the rest of you.

This is not the Derrida list and for Foucault there were many things
outside the text. His own statements on authorship are sometimes
ambiguous, and there is a "he" who writes in order to have no face,
who carries documents and passports which some bureaucrats wish to

Suppose, rejecting the issue of authorial intent, we revert to a
different question of intentionality, a question upon which, I
think, F did not write very much. What, in the agon of the space,
draws the subject (locates the subject, if you prefer) to a
particular spot?

Consider Foucault, reaching maturity at a place/time in which some
of his practises and desires predicate his "sexuality" as perverse,
abnormal, psychotic, criminal, aberrant, etc, within the discourses
(law, medicine, psychology, etc.). Consider, too, that during his
late twenties and thirties, each of these discourses re-orders these
practises and desires from the margins to the center, from
transgressive to normative.

Clearly, these shifts do not represent a moment of disjuncture of
the sort Foucault identifies in, say, the Order of Things, for these
discourses already contained the material which permitted such
reinscription. Nevertheless, it must have been important for him to
observe the sudden reinscription of perversion to normality,
criminality to obedience, etc...

To see the dossier of one's own "essences" rewritten; to watch
"oneself" renamed...surely this might concentrate the attention
(intention) and might help to direct the gaze. It might, for
example, suggest that "things" like "madness" are not so essential
as one might have earlier thought. Or, "sexuality", or

None of this, of course, affects even infinitesmally the nature and
contents and value and importance of the texts named Foucault. But
it might have some connection to the question: "how do they come to
be?" Like Said, I want to explore the question of the "determining
imprint of individual writers upon the otherwise anonymous
collective body of texts..."(Orientalism, 23), or, rather, to
reorient Said (sorry, couldn't resist), the "imprint determining the
location of individual writers within the otherwise anonymous
collective body of texts...".

This has been difficult to write: I wish to distinguish two matters
(intention and intention) which may not be distinguishable. And I am
attempting, perhaps hamhandedly, to find a way of distinguishing
between what it is possible for one to say from how or why one
chooses, within the possible, to say. But I would appreciate your
thoughts on this.



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