Re: _ROM_ -- hunger for self-transformation (fwd)

On Jul 3, 8:29pm, Toby Litt wrote:>
> Two questions:
> a. Did Foucault in any way succeed in his attempt to 'break through'?
> b. If so, how - exactly - did this occur?
> (The second is, as I see it, the big question with Foucault:
> How does history happen? By what agency?)

>-- End of excerpt from Toby Litt

I think that the question of breaking throug, what has been presented here
as a question of "style," is not presented by F. as being central to his
projeect. To get beyond means not only going beyond the subject, but also
renouncing self-mastery. Does F. succeed in doing so? No. But I don't
necessarily think that this is the point. One cannot step outside of,
particularly in the writing of texts, the imperatives of subjectivity and
subjectivization (not to mention the disciplinary bondage imposed on the
demarrcation of objects as a domain of interrogation). What one can do (and
this is more toward the point that F. is aiming toward) is attempt to
foregrouund the manner in which subjects and objects are made to speak and be
spoken. And this leads into the third question about history and angency.
What is history without agency? What is agency without history? The dilemma
is not to separate the two, but to determine how, in what way, and when
agency is bound, as it were, to the imperative to speak, write, imagine in
particular ways. That F. may be imagining the projects of ethics,
epitstemology and politics in different ways does not mean that he manages to
step outside of the frameworks of "discipline" (not only penal, but also
epistemological) in, around and through which he writes. And maybe stepping
outside is, when all is said and done, not the point....

Penelope Ironstone-Catterall
York University
Toronto, Canada

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