Introduction Echos Book

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May 12, 2011, at 04:08 PM by -
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S…nke Hallmann
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
May 12, 2011, at 03:44 PM by -


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