Foucault News

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

Foucault, Michel. “Literature and Madness: Madness in the Baroque Theatre and the Theatre of Artaud.” Theory, Culture & Society, (October 2021).

Literature and madness dominate Michel Foucault’s early writings in the 1960s, and indeed much of his career. In this text, Foucault considers the relation between madness, language, and silence; the difficult frontier between language and literary convention; and the experience of madness within language. He moves from a meditation on madness, to a rare commentary on theatre, stagecraft, and Artaud, and finishes by considering literature’s capacity for rupture. ‘Literature and Madness’ is a translation of a text written by Foucault in the 1960s, and recently published in Folie, langage, littérature, ed. Henri-Paul Fruchaud, Daniele Lorenzini and Judith Revel (Paris: Vrin, 2019, 89–109). This version includes a translator’s introduction by Nancy Luxon and was given a distinct subtitle to distinguish it from a similar lecture with the same title in that volume.

Artaud, Foucault, literature, madness, theatre

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