Re: [Foucault-L] Online versions — General Comment

Here responding to Timothy, but also following the general comment initiated by him. (sorry again for my english, still working on it)

The aim of the debate was first to allow me, as a french student, to get access to english e-books, may they be free or not.
Of course it's always thrilling to download the latest version of a 50$ book for free, as a searchable pdf file. (I recall of my first online orgasm : when I found Le foucault électronique, a multi terms searchable file containing almost all of Foucault's books, including Dits et Ecrits. Talking about Foucault's opinion about free e-books (if one may say so), while downloading this treasure I immediately thought I was violating Foucault's own ethics about the concept of oeuvre. All of Foucault's books and articles and talks, within the same file ? With electronic data processing allowed ? Oh gosh, it was almost blasphemy. Anyway, I own a whole drawer overflowing with Foucault's books, which I invariably buy.)
For me and my french collegues, the problem is the very access to english books, may it be in libraries. French libraries aren't known worldwide to be the finest place to work. We also have a translation jet lag problem. In my field, history of sexuality, there are 1980's essential books that aren't translated yet.Furthermore, I live in Lille, and every single book I find to be available in a library is in Paris.
In the end, what choices do I have ?- move back to Paris- buy every single book I have to work on, even if it concerns only one chapter, and find 10 000 euros each month to work on my thesis - download e-books.
What do you think I should do ?
Anyway, may internet collaboration live long.
Tiffany P.

> Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2012 20:14:22 +0800
> From: autrement@xxxxxxxxx
> To: foucault-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: Re: [Foucault-L] Online versions — General Comment
> Dear Foucault-philes,
> Following this discussion of where to download Foucault-related books, and
> in light of the recent sudden demise of Megaupload, I wonder if anybody
> has considered what Foucault himself would say about the (illegal) free
> downloading of published books?
> We all know the interview in which he says he'd like to see a year of
> publishing anonymously - but I don't recall the year of free books!
> I ask because I have found my own books on some of these sites and I have
> to admit that at the time I told my publisher about it. Informing on the
> free flow of information is shameful isn't it. Or is it? The problem is
> that if my publisher didn't get paid for their books then they wouldn't be
> offering contracts to me (or anybody else), which would cause serious
> problems for us all - esp when it comes to getting jobs, tenure, etc — not
> to mention putting citations in your bibliography.
> I understand that access to philosophy shouldn't be dependent on financial
> means, esp for graduate students. But isn't that what libraries are for?
> But, of course, it's so much more convenient to have a searchable pdf file,
> isn't it? I actually illegally downloaded my own books just so I could have
> a complete pdf version - the publisher didn't give me one.
> So I'm not necessarily condemning the practice - perhaps it's just the
> first move in a major epistemic shift - but I do think it would be
> interesting to discuss it from a Foucauldian perspective.
> Regards,
> Timothy
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> Foucault-L mailing list

  • Re: [Foucault-L] Online versions — General Comment
    • From: Allen Miller
  • Replies
    Re: [Foucault-L] Online versions — General Comment, Timothy O'Leary
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