Michel Foucault, Madness, Language, Literature
Edited by Henri-Paul Fruchaud, Daniele Lorenzini, and Judith Revel
Translated by Robert Bononno
The University of Chicago Press, 2023
Newly published lectures by Foucault on madness, literature, and structuralism.
Perceiving an enigmatic relationship between madness, language, and literature, French philosopher Michel Foucault developed ideas during the 1960s that are less explicit in his later, more well-known writings. Collected here, these previously unpublished texts reveal a Foucault who undertakes an analysis of language and experience detached from their historical constraints. Three issues predominate: the experience of madness across societies; madness and language in Artaud, Roussel, and Baroque theater; and structuralist literary criticism. Not only do these texts pursue concepts unique to this period such as the “extra-linguistic,” but they also reveal a far more complex relationship between structuralism and Foucault than has typically been acknowledged.