File spoon-archives/bourdieu.archive/bourdieu_1999/bourdieu.9905, message 43


Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 22:38:01 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: The content and the context



> >2=BA  you cannot draw a boundary between an author's private life and an
> >author's work.

If you don't recognize the boundary you won't be able to understand the
work. The work is a product of the field and its history. To say
otherwise is simply reductionist.

Why is the family life of the artists and intellectuals
> >(more divorces, less children) much more unstructured than the family life
> >of the university professors (more children, lesse divorce - as Bourdieu as
> >shown us in 'Homo Academicus', english translation, p.36-37)?

Show how this bears on an understanding of an actual work.

 Why did
> >Anthony Giddens wrote 'Modernity and Self-Identity' after three years in
> >psychological therapy due to his second divorce? Why are the biographies of
> >Louis Althusser (in his case, auto-biography) and Michel Foucault so
> >important? Why are some of the most brilliant thinkers of our century
> >passed long moments of their lives in psychiatric asylums (Althusser,
> >Foucault, but also Weber, for example) or died using so radical methods
> >(Poulantzas or Deleuze, who commited suicide')? Are this uninteresting
> >questions? I think they are astonishingly revealing.

In what way is this revealing?

> >
> >Returning to Bourdieu -
===> this is obviously a speculation,

correct

> >but: can't a
> >possible (serious) illness of Bourdieu - or simply his ageing process - be
> >related to the turning of his strategy as an intellectual, more engaged and
> >with more public and medicatic visibility than he enjoied during his past
> >professional career?

How can these two things possibly be "related." Are you suggesting some
sort of cause and effect?

> >Or that is just the 'logical' product of his 'purely'
> >intellectual trajectory, from the margins to the center of the field
> >(position that he obviously denies - the Swartz book has one or two
> >references on this point, Bourdieu seeing himself as an outsider...)?
> >

what is a product, his (rumored) illness or his political engagement?


> >This questions are sociological, not the result of gossiping or 'morbid
> >curiosity'. If they sometimes overlap, that is probably because in every
> >meddler is a potential sociologist.
> >

Where is the sociology? All I see is a simple reductionism of the crudest
sort.

George Free

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