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The Passion of Michel Foucault (1993)

de Jim Miller

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A startling look at one of this century's most influential philosophers, the book chronicles every stage of Foucault's personal and professional odyssey, from his early interest in dreams to his final preoccupation with sexuality and the nature of personal identity.
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Foucault would hate this book, but the freak-reader will appreciate that the guy was a total freak (in both the best and worst ways). He sounds utterly histrionic and unbearable (repeated youthful suicide attempts and social-reject-style late-night lurking in the Sorbonne's corridors), but also into fun (his less well-publicized belief that fisting is a key way to expand one's consciousness). The book is essential reading for scholars of Foucault. For example, some of the English translations in this book so far surpass the quality of that found in his actual books it's crazy (who knew that every time he used the word 'sex' he was referring to the male organ and not the act(s)!! Not the English-speaking reader, that's for sure!). However, the book is also essential reading for all kinds of sexual outlaws and freaks because, apparently, one of the sharpest minds of the 20th century spent a considerable amount of time pondering the meaning of gay and bdsm sex. Foucault: a freak for power. ( )
  knownever | Apr 3, 2012 |
Being a neophyte Foucault researcher, a Professor at my university recommended this book as a good frame for viewing the rest of his work. Context is always valuable, but I am starting to feel that for few is this more the case than for Foucault.

A lovingly crafted book, the passion with which Miller views the subject is immediately apparent, and the book certainly doesn't suffer for it in the same way that some academic books do. Whilst the author has taken a particular viewpoint of the life of Foucault, one must not forget that this is always the case in a biography - the only difference is how honest the writer is in how much information he has at his disposal, and how much he feels he has taken license. Miller has done well in this respect, being extensively well read on the subject; my personal feeling is that given the information at his disposal, his interpretation was more than fair.

A wonderful balance of academia and art, I would strongly recommend this book to anyone captivated by Foucault's works. I cannot wait to emerse myself in yet more. Furthermore, I have found my "to read" list rapidly expanding as I discover who really did impact his writing and theoretical leanings - Georges Bataille, Frederick Nietszche and many more have been illuminated for me by this wonderful book, which I see as the beginning, as opposed to the end. ( )
2 vota BeeQuiet | Sep 1, 2010 |
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A startling look at one of this century's most influential philosophers, the book chronicles every stage of Foucault's personal and professional odyssey, from his early interest in dreams to his final preoccupation with sexuality and the nature of personal identity.

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