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Language, Counter-Memory, Practice: Selected Essays and Interviews

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  201 ratings  ·  18 reviews
A remarkable collection of essays and lectures all of which revolve around the subject of language. For Foucault, Discourse represents a context within which power relations exist. The two most noted essays in this collection are 'What is an Author?' and 'Nietzsche, Genealogy, History.'It is in the latter that one can discern the enormous impact that Nietzsche has made on ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published August 31st 1980 by Cornell University Press (first published 1977)
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Genealogy is history in the form of a concerted carnival.

Ever since Madonna Louise Ciccone took it over the border line, I have always felt for the transgressors, the transgressive, the interlopers. Michel Foucault began before I did. He also held the Infinite in esteem. I sigh in response. I would like to make a few points about this collection, this assemblage. I could start by questioning the validity of points or facts. Aren't they just interpretations? Don't such efforts only maintain the p
theory often enters into a certain headspace that i cannot seem to follow...
a great deal of this book is nonsense...the rest is inapplicable hyper-intellectual self-indulgence that borders on the masturbatory...
i'm certain there are those who have derived a profound and deeper understanding of language and culture from this book, i am, unfortunately, not one of them...

i'm re-reading this today for my imminent exam...
i find myself re-confirming my earlier words yet softening on them so
Jared Colley
This is a must have for anyone interested in Michel Foucault; the book contains some of his best essays dating from the middle part of his career. The absolute essentials are "Nietzsche, Genealogy, & History" and "What is an Author?" - I have resourced these two texts time and time again. However, the hidden gem of this book for me is the published conversation between Foucault & Gilles Deleuze. The interview/conversation functions in way to usefully clarify certain similarities between ...more
Conor Heaney
Important collection of essays for those wishing to engage with Foucault's work. Separated into three sections:

(1) 'Language and the Birth of Literature' - this section contains essays on Flaubert, transgression, the attempts to reach the (infinite) limits of language, and a review of a Laplanche book. Useful in considering Foucault's approach to literature, to narrative, to thought-as-practice, and language specifically, which he of course addressed separately in The Order of Things.

(2) 'Count
Josephine Ensign
"Writing so as not to die, as Blanchot said, or perhaps even speaking so as not to die is a task undoubtedly as old as the word. The most fateful decisions are inevitably suspended during the course of a story. We know that discourse has the power to arrest the flight of an arrow in a recess of time, in the space proper to it." From Foucault's essay 'Language to Infinity." That, and his essay 'What is an Author' were my favorites in this collection. 'Fantasia of the Library' gave me a new unders ...more
Of continental thinkers worth paying any attention to (that qualifier excludes the vast majority of them, I'd say, although I certainly am a fan of several continentalists), Foucault is the most tiresome. He has interesting, engaging, and important ideas, but is staggeringly obfuscatory. His prose's turgid excess and pretentious, overwrought character is especially grating considering he mentions, by name, some of the clearest philosophers to ever write, including John Searle.

Amazingly, Foucaul
A remarkable collection of essays and lectures all of which revolve around the subject of language. For Foucault, Discourse represents a context within which power relations exist. The two most noted essays in this collection are 'What is an Author?' and 'Nietzsche, Genealogy, History.'It is in the latter that one can discern the enormous impact that Nietzsche has made on Foucault's archaeological project. He engages in a discussion on the nature of history as it relates to power relations and t ...more
while the portions on language were helpful in exploring the concept of the limit (and how trangression is part of the limit and vice versa), it was challenging to read most of that section, as it depends on one having read, for instance, Flaubert's The Temptation or Jean Laplanche's Holderlin et la question du père. I found the last two sections on counter-memory and practice more accessible and pertinent for my work on notions of difference, inclusion/exclusion and abjection in education.

Leonard Pierce
My first encounter with Foucault in short-essay form, and oddly enough, I fouund him a lot more tolerable this way. It's all still going to depend on how acceptable you find his ideas, but this was a pretty good format for him.
Why fuck with this book?

The essays "What is an Author?" and "Nietzsche, Genealogy, History" retain their salience in challenging easy thinking about shit like identity politics and speaking-truth-to-power....
contains the famous author-function article, which should be read, certainly, but really only in context after reviewing barthes' "death of the author," also required reading.
Nov 12, 2009 Annette marked it as to-read
this dude gave me this book cause he thought a linguistics person would have a better time with it than he did. that was about ten years ago. haven't read it yet.
there is a lot of off-the-wall brilliance here, but even more willful misunderstanding.
Tank Green
only reading selected essays from this collection, but my how do i love them.
A very good introduction to Foucault's ideas.
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very good
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Michel Foucault was a French philosopher, social theorist and historian of ideas. He held a chair at the Collège de France with the title "History of Systems of Thought," and lectured at the University at Buffalo and the University of California, Berkeley.

Foucault is best known for his critical studies of social institutions, most notably psychiatry, medicine, the human sciences and the prison sys
More about Michel Foucault...
Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison The History of Sexuality 1: An Introduction Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences The Archaeology of Knowledge & The Discourse on Language

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“Perhaps [transgression] is like a flash of lightning in the night which, from the beginning of time, gives a dense and black intensity to the night it denies, which lights up the night from the inside, from top to bottom, yet owes to the dark the stark clarity of its manifestation, its harrowing and poised singularity.” 10 likes
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