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Language, Counter-Memory, Practice: Selected Essays and Interviews (Cornell Paperbacks) 1st Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0801492044
ISBN-10: 0801492041
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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, French (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Michel Foucault (1926--84) is widely considered to be one of the most influential academic voices of the twentieth century and has proven influential across disciplines.
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Product Details

  • Series: Cornell Paperbacks
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press; 1 edition (August 31, 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801492041
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801492044
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Steiner VINE VOICE on October 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
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 truth. Foucault writes: "The successes of history belong to those who had used them, to disguise themselves so as to pervert them, invert their meaning, and redirect them against those who had initially imposed them; controlling this complex mechanism, they will make it function so as to overcome the rulers through their own rules" (151).

This is a remarkable collection with lectures and essays ranging from Borges and Holderlin to Deleuze. One can also find his explication of the 'History of Systems of Thought' as a discipline which would dominate his attention in the final years of his life.
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Perhaps I bit off too much with this one. I had seen Foucault's name in the literature so often, and had become familiar with the high-level conceptual contributions he has made, and was convinced that I need to go to some source material from this brilliant man. I'm still enamored of his originality, and of how my own thinking has been derailed/expanded, but these specifics texts were tough! That first article, "Preface to Transgression" seems to me a fine example of how not to convey some message; verbose, tangential, pompous, and difficult. Now, that is how it seemed to me, a software guy with a "hobbyist" interest in language, semiotics, and literary theory. Perhaps if my experience had been part of a class, where I could discuss, ask question, even complain, perhaps I could have taken more from the work.

Not to say reading these were a complete waste of time, just very difficult for the payoff. Perhaps there was a better choice for a first Foucault read...
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Format: Paperback
Michel Foucault (1926-1984) was a French philosopher, historian of ideas, and social theorist and activist; he wrote many books, such as Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason, The Birth of the Clinic, Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison, The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1: An Introduction, The History of Sexuality, Vol. 2: The Use of Pleasure, The History of Sexuality, Vol. 3: The Care of the Self, etc. Openly gay [see the James Miller biography, The Passion of Michel Foucault], he died of AIDS---the first “public figure” in France to die of the virus.

The editor wrote in the Preface to this 1977 collection, “This collection arose out of the desire to come to terms with the already considerable accomplishment of Michel Foucault. I had hoped that an examination of his essays on the writers who have influenced him would resolve the difficulties of his books.
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