Re: A non-defense ofthe Miller book.

[I have included excerpts from the messages to which I am
responding to for readers' convenience --see below.]
I wanted to agree with Williamson's comments regarding the
importance of Foucault's personal life to the work that he did. I think
it is necessary to remember that a lot of the most important theoretical
work done in postmodern realm has been done by people whose private lives
were/are led on the edge. To ignore this is to ignore the very political
interests of these people, which just continues the hegemony of the academy
as somehow above it all. Althusser went crazy after killing his wife and
Foucault practiced S/M and died of AIDS. I would argue that the thing we
should not do is ignore these facts. On the other hand, I would not do what
Miller has done with these facts and rhetoricize them in a kind of
"plague narrative," rather than deal with such factors in an
appropriately radically different narrative, as Foucault himself
endeavored to formulate throughout his studies and bodily practices.
Miller's downfall is his own inability to get of the cultural narratives in
which he himself has been inscribed. I suggest that the problem with his book
is not Foucault's life, but Miller's rhetoric.

On Fri, 14 Apr 1995, Kathleen G Williamson wrote:

> I must disagree with this position provided by Dylan (attached). where
> in the world does knowedge, questions and selections for what interests a
> person than personal life?

> On Tue, 11 Apr 1995, Riley, Dylan (G) SOCIO wrote:
> > [Foucault's] work should in no sense be related to his
> > 'personality'. These discussions, of
> > which the Miller book is an excellent example, do nothing but reveal the
> > narrow minded and prying puritanism of an American culture which is
> > consistently unable to appreciate the contributions of important
> > theoreticians.
> >
> >
> >


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