File spoon-archives/foucault.archive/foucault_1998/foucault.9801, message 27

Date: Sun, 11 Jan 1998 20:01:28 -0500 (EST)
Subject: on deleuze's first four paragraphs

1. Overall Deleuze is providing an unobjectionable overview of Foucault's
work, of the various stages of his work. There was discussion on the list
recently about whether or not _Archaeology of Knowledge_ was a successful
book or not. Like Foucault's own self-assessments, Deleuze insists on
seeing _AK_ as an essential component of Foucault's career. 

2. Especially interesting, however, is the comparison Deleuze uses to
capture what Foucault is up to. He mentions Melville, claiming that
"thinking in terms of moving lines was the process put forward by Herman
Melville, and this involved fishing lines and lines of descent which could
be dangerous, even fatal." Those interested in this suggestion could see
Chapter 60 in Melville's _Moby Dick_, titled "Lines."

3. In the second paragraph, Deleuze mentions the primary competitor for
the subject-object approach to knowledge, namely, "regimes of
enunciations" and *dispositifs* that make both subjects and objects
possible. But he is concerned also to make clear the basis of oppositional
action within these regimes: the lines which help make up a regime are
capable of "drifting, transformations and mutations." Thus, a "dispositif"
is not a trap or a roadblock but rather a way of being that cannot be
isolated from the shifts in emphasis, tone, and so on that mark the
transition from one way to another.

4. In the fourth paragraph, Deleuze reviews Foucault's later work on the
Self and defends it from the claim that it is disconnected from the
writing on prisons. But again Deleuze draws our attention to the kind of
liberty that Foucault sought to reveal to us. Certainly the Self is
something that is produced through a process of subjectification, but it
also acts as "a line of escape." 

Thomas Flynn recently came out with the first volume of a book on Foucault
and Sartre. The first volume is mainly on Sartre, but the jacket cover
(which is all I've read so far!) claims that there is more of a connection
between Sartre and Foucault than has been previously acknowledged. I
wonder if Deleuze is thinking something like the same thing.

< John S. Ransom     717-2 <
< Political Science      4 <
^ Dickinson College      5 ^
^ Carlisle, PA 17013     - ^
>   1 <
< Denny 107              7 >
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