Re: new participant

> From: Edy Sukrisno <krisno@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Due to my English, it took me more than five minutes to read and understand
> your post.:-) Thanks for the explanation on the distinction between *sex*
> and *sexuality*. Now I got a better picture about their difference. I
> thought that the difference was between *doing* and *talking.* So, if I
> may (over)simplify this business of the history of sexuality: Foucault is
> talking about how cultures historically determines our desire (not
> appetite) for sex. Am I right?

Hi Edy..

It would seem, on the surface, that what Foucault is doing is exactly
what you are saying: writing a history of how cultures, and
specifically our Western culture, create a sexuality through the
vagaries of historical events, power structures, etc. But there is a
bit of venom hidden in the term "desire," which became so important
with the work of Deleuze and Guattari. Before the publication of HoS
Part I, Foucault felt himself strongly aligned with D&G. In fact,
writing a review article on Difference&Repetition and The Logic of
Sense, he went so far as to say that "perhaps one day, this century
will be known as Deleuzian." (Language, Counter-Memory & Practice,

In the History of Sexuality, however, Foucault is not quite as
complementary. I know this is getting a bit ahead of ourselves, but
from pages 81-83, Foucault seems to be critiquing Deleuze's notion of
desire. He writes,

"They [meaning repression of instincts and law of desire, see 82]
both rely on a common presentation of power which, depending on the
use made of it and the position it is accorded with respect to
desire, leads to to contrary results: either to the promise of a
'liberation,' if power is seen as having only an external hold on
desire, or if it is constitutive of desire itself, to the
affirmation: you are always-already trapped." (83)

Desire is nothing external to sexuality; it is not a free-flowing
libidinal energy (Numen, Deleuze calls it, giving it a interesting
meta-theological taste) which is repressed by the powers that be --
this falls back into the "Repressive Hypothesis" trap. Desire is
coextensive with sexuality, a product of the interplay of forces
through the years, and nothing more... of course, I think there is
more to Deleuze's conception than this, but seeing as this is the
Foucault list, here's pretty much what F is saying on the issue.

Hope this is of some use... I know it gets somewhat off topic as
regards your question, but I found it interesting nonetheless.

john hartmann

John Hartmann
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, daruber muss man schweigen.
-- Ludwig Wittgenstein

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