logo prison design michel-foucault.com

Quotes of the month (2012)


Foucault,GIP Press Conference

Quote for June 2012

I shall sum up [...] the critical operations which I have undertaken [To question] these three themes of the origin, the subject and the implicit meaning, is to undertake - a difficult task, very strong resistance indeed proves it - to liberate the discursive field from the historico-transcendental structure which the philosophy of the 19th century has imposed on it [...]
There where one used to tell the history of tradition and of invention, of the old and the new, of the dead and the living, of the closed and the open, of the static and the dynamic, I have undertaken to tell the history of perpetual difference; more precisely to recount the history of ideas as the sum of the specified and descriptive forms of non-identity.

Michel Foucault, (1996) [1968]. "History, discourse and discontinuity" S. Lotringer, ed., Foucault live (interviews, 1961-1984) (New York: Semiotext(e), 1996), Translated by Anthony Nazarro, pp. 41-2. Translation modified.

Reflections on this quotation (my blog)


Quote for May 2012

This theme of the artistic life, which is so important throughout the nineteenth century, basically rests on two principles. First: art is capable of giving a form to existence which breaks with every other form, a form which is that of the true life. The other principle is that, if the artistic life does in fact have the form of the true life, then this in turn guarantees that every work which takes root in and starts from this life truly does beconong to the dynasty and domain of art.

Michel Foucault, (2011) [2008]. The Courage of Truth. Lectures at the Collège de France, 1983- 1984. Tr. Graham Burchell. Houndmills and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, p. 187.


Quote for March 2012

The idea of accumulating everything, of establishing a sort of general archive, the will to enclose in one place all times, all epochs, all forms, all tastes, the idea of constituting a place of all times that is itself outside of time and inaccessible to its ravages, the project of organizing in this way a sort of perpetual and indefinite accumulation of time in an immobile place, this whole idea belongs to our modernity.

Michel Foucault [1967] "Of Other Spaces," Diacritics 16 (Spring 1986), 22-27.