Introduction Echos Book

Introduction S…nke Hallmann Anonymity Asked in an interview, that was published in Le Monde on April 6, 1980, under the heading “Le philosophe masqué”, why he had insisted on remaining anonymous, Michel Foucault answered that this request to do so came forth from his desire of being heard: “Why did I suggest that we use anonymity? Out of nostalgia for a time when, being quite unknown, what I said had some chance of being heard. With the potential reader, the surface of contact was unrippled. The effects of the book might land in unexpected places and form shapes that I had never thought of. A name makes reading too easy.” Of course, Foucault's nostalgia for a time without such a name, that would guarantee a certain authority of speech, touches upon the question of the author. Here, in the interview with Christian Delacampagne, to give up his well-known name then means to come to speech, whereas the fact of being acknowledged as an authority would only hinder. Foucault's request for nameless writing, for anonymity, brings to mind the indifference towards the author, which he had addressed some ten years earlier in his famous lecture What is an Author?. Recapitulating the ethics inherent in this lecture, Giorgio Agamben notes: “What is in question in writing, Foucault suggested, is not so much the expression of a subject as the opening of a space, in which the writing subject does not cease to disappear.” This space that comes forth in writing, as it seems, and that, with regard to the writing subject itself remains without expression, is for the reader the very place to enter. According to Agamben in his essay The Author as Gesture, the reader does occupy “the empty place […] left by


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