Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Progressive Geographies

Foucault’s text on René Magritte, “Ceci n’est pas une pipe”, was published first in French in 1968 (reprinted inDits et écritsas text 53), and then in a revised and expanded form as a book in 1973. The 1973 book was translated asThis is not a Pipe by James Harkness in 1981. When theEssential Workscollection translated selections from Dits et écrits in volume 2, the Harkness text was used as the basis, even though it was a translation of the 1968 version. This made sense – the texts were similar enough. But theEssential Workstranslation follows the Harkness too closely, and while it recognises the major edits, it misses several smaller points where the two French texts differ.

It is perhaps especially problematic when the revised text changes some instances ofsimilitudetoressemblance, or vice versa, with Foucault writing a new paragraph which…

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