the gaze -Foucault's words

'Gaze' is how Sheridan orginally translated 'le regard' from French
in Birth of the Clinic, explaining in a note that his translation was
unusual. Le regard can also mean point of view I think. Foucault is
playing with two (or more) senses of the word in French in Birth of
the Clinic. Native speakers of French on the list please correct me
if I'm wrong on this point!

'It was while I was studying the origins of clinical medicine [that I
first came across Bentham's Panopticon]. I was considering a study on
hospital architecture in the second half of the 18th century, when a
major reform of medical institutions was underway. I wanted to know
how medical observation, the observing gaze of the clinician became
institutionalized; how it was effectively inscribed in social space;
how the new hospital structure was at one and the same time the
effect of a new type of gaze and its support. And I came to realize,
while examining the different architectural projects that resulted
from the second fire at the Hotel-Dieu in 1772, to what extent the
problem of the total visibility of bodies, of individuals and things,
under a system of centralized surveillance, had been one of the most
constant guiding principles.

'The Eye of Power', in S. Lotringer, ed., Foucault live (interviews,
1961-1984) New York: Semiotext(e), 1996, Translated by Lysa Hochroth
and John Johnson, p. 226
Clare O'Farrell
email: panopticon@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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