From: "J. Ransom" <dickins@xxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 1999 13:32:42 +0200
If you have the time/desire, could you expand on what you mean when you say
that Derrida objected to the 'totalizing' aspects of F's argument in _FD_?
What was totalizing in _FD_ according to Derrida?
I see this work as being fairly similar to, say, _Discipline and Punish_. We
are shown a periodization of Western treatments of phenomena: madness in
_FD_ and criminality in _DP_.
----- Original Message -----
From: Tom Choi <tom.choi@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, October 21, 1999 7:57 AM
oh, but they have a wonderful history...
derrida enthusiastically attended lectures given by foucault about madness
around the time that 'folie et deraison' appeared. but within a couple of
years, derrida delivered a lecture on foucault and madness in which he
criticized the 'totalizing' aspects of foucault's work on madness (and
foucault happened to be in the audience--doh!). the lectures were
eventually collected in derrida's 'writing and difference' under the chapter
"cogito and the history of madness." foucault reserved his indignance and
fury for nearly ten years but eventually published his scintillating reply
as "my body, this paper, this fire" in 1971. (you gotta love the title.)
i think that he wrote this piece right after hearing derrida and withheld it
from publication until later. most of the scintillating tidbits about their
conflict can be found in deidre eribon's biography of foucault (pages
119-21). foucault's response was included in the 1972 french edition of
'folie' and the english translation can be found in volume 2 of "the
essential works of foucault," the new press. finally, derrida most recently
revisited this conflict with foucault in 1991 and this essay "'to do justice
to freud': the history of madness in the age of psychoanalysis" can be found
in "foucault and his interlocutors," arnold davidson, ed, university of
for the most part derrida is always complimentary of his former teacher. i
don't think that foucault thought much of derrida as he often contrasted his
methods from deconstruction in interviews. perhaps, foucault's "what is an
author?" can be read in contrast to deconstruction. and maybe one could
also contrast foucault's insistence on anonymity (as in the interview "the
masked philosopher" where he conducted an interview anonymously) with
derrida today as a celebrity icon in american literary circles. certainly,
one can argue that derrida has become that "universal intellectual" that
foucault so despised in sartre. and we should also note that foucault
always refused the labels of "postmodernism" and "poststructuralism."
hope this helps,