File spoon-archives/foucault.archive/foucault_1998/foucault.9812, message 53

Date: Sun, 06 Dec 1998 21:03:10 -0500
Subject: Essential works vol2 -- what's new

Howdy folks,

Vol. 2 of _The Essential Works of MF_ has been available for several
months in its American edition (New Press -- hardback only right now),
but may not yet have been released in the UK (and world?) edition
(Penguin, I believe).

Some people have been asking about the contents of vol. 2.  I'm
including a list of the contents, based on the pieces' numbers in Dits &
Ecrits.  (That is, "13" is "A preface to transgression" (Préface =E0 la
transgression, DE # 13, vol 1, pp. 233-249).  So this list will be
useful for people who have access to the French Dits et Ecrits, and
otherwise won't be particularly helpful.  (All 4 volumes of DE have a
complete list of the numbered pieces in the back.)

So, Essential Works, vol. 2 includes 32 selections, in order:

8, 10, 7, 11, 13, 14, 20, 21, 36, 38, 43, 360, 53, 69/258, 164, 201,
284, 286, 305, 30, 34, 46, 48, 59, 83, 80, 84, 102, 103, 330, 345,

(The two double-numbered entries are in fact included twice, in two
slightly variant versions, in DE.)

Of all these articles, only the following appear in English *for the
first time*: 

10, 7, 11, 21, 43, 201, 284, 305, 30, 83, 103

So, only 11 of 32 articles are not already available elsewhere in
English -- one of these (#10) is available in modified form as chapter 1
of _Death and the labyrinth_, and another one (#21) is already due to
appear elsewhere within the year.  So a grand total of 9 of 32 are
completely new and unique translations.

EW vol. 2 represents the *fifth* time (that I know of) that one of the
selections (#330) has been published in English. (Fortunately, in these
5 different publications, only 3 different titles were used.)  Apart
from a complete collection, including all of DE, this just doesn't seem
very useful to me.

Vol. 1 followed the same pattern:  only 9 of 27 selections were
previously unpublished. All nine are in fact related to MF's tenure at
the Coll=E8ge de France -- his candidacy presentation and 8 of 11 course
summaries (3 were already available in English, and one of the 8 is due
out elsewhere) -- and these could have been published as a free-standing
book (_Michel Foucault at the Coll=E8ge de France_ is the obvious title)
that would have been of great interest and much less expensive than EW
vol. 1 is.

Considering that only about 150 of the 364 pieces included in D&E are
currently available in English, it seems to me that the repackaging of
already-available material constitutes a real disservice to the
community of Foucault scholars.  The Italian edition of Dits et Ecrits,
on the other hand, will be issued as a 4-vol. set that exactly mirrors
the organization of the French.  In addition to assuring that all the
texts are eventually available in translation (and in a unified
location), this also allows for a standardization of reference, since
each piece could then be referred to by DE number (as I've done here).
Unfortunately, since the Essential Works was touted as the English Dits
et Ecrits, a complete collection now looms as well-nigh impossible.

I hope there's something useful in all of this moaning and ranting,

Yours, Richard

Richard A. Lynch                     
Dept. of Philosophy
Boston College
Chestnut HIll, MA 02467 USA
(617) 552-3861 (office)
(617) 552-3874 (fax)


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