File spoon-archives/foucault.archive/foucault_1998/foucault.9810, message 62

Date: Tue, 27 Oct 1998 12:01:34 +1000
Subject: Re: Baudrillard's seduction

Ian says
>    Matthew, your reference to Steiner spurred me to take a look again at
>Foucault's response ('Monstrosities of criticism'), during a coffee break.
>It is incredible, and I felt I should share it's best gem with the
>list--it's opening.  It reaffirmed to me all anew why I continue to read
>the man ...

I have to agree with you - I love this text - it is beautifully written,
very amusing, but very cutting and the reply to Steiner's reply is even
more savage but still a virtuoso and amusing performance. Foucault is a
very good debater!

>Does anyone know,
>   a) if Foucault ever debated in a public forum with Jean Baudrillard?
>I'm pretty sure if they ever did it was never transcribed.
>   b) why Foucault chose not to respond to Baudrillard's _Oublier Foucault_
>(which reportedly was written for _Critique_, of which Foucault was the

I don't know about (a) but I read somewhere (I forget where) that Foucault
was very offended by Baudrillard's piece and refused to speak to him for
years afterwards. Personally I thought Baudrillard's critique of the
problems with Foucualt's notion of power were spot on. I suspect (totally
unsubstatiated suspicion of course) that Baudrillard's critique might have
been helped Foucault in his subsequent revision (in 1982 'Power and the
subject') of his notions of power.


Clare O'Farrell
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