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Ruth Scurr: Foucault in the Bastille

14 December 2017
Disorderly Families: Infamous Letters from the Bastille Archives 
by Arlette Farge and Michel Foucault, edited by Nancy Luxon, translated by Thomas Scott-Railton.
Minnesota, 328 pp., £28.99, January 2017, 978 0 8166 9534 8
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... a great compilation of infamy’ after the publication of Discipline and Punish and The Will to Knowledge, the first volume of his History of Sexuality, and in collaboration with a junior colleague, ArletteFarge, began to work on an edition of lettres de cachet solicited or issued by members of the prisoners’ families. In her afterword to the first English translation of Disorderly Families Farge ...

Noonday Devils

Marina Warner

6 June 1996
Tituba Reluctant Witch of Salem: Devilish Indians and Puritan Fantasies 
by Elaine Breslaw.
New York, 237 pp., $24.95, February 1996, 0 8147 1227 4
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... The French historian ArletteFarge has described coming across a letter, written on linen in a fine strong hand, in which a prisoner, long incarcerated in the Bastille, writes to his wife, affectionately, imploringly; he adds a ...

Love Stories

Edmund White

4 November 1993
To the Friend Who Did Not Save My Life: A Novel 
by Hervé Guibert, translated by Linda Coverdale.
Quartet, 246 pp., £12.95, November 1991, 9780704370005
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The Man in the Red Hat 
by Hervé Guibert, translated by James Kirkup.
Quartet, 111 pp., £12.95, May 1993, 0 7043 7046 8
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The Compassion Protocol 
by Hervé Guibert, translated by James Kirkup.
Quartet, 202 pp., £13.95, October 1993, 9780704370593
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... of lacquered doors. I first met the hyacinthine, ringleted, foggyvoiced young Guibert through Foucault in 1983. He was perhaps Foucault’s best friend. Although Foucault liked working with women (ArletteFarge was a favourite), he didn’t like socialising with them; once I invited Susan Sontag to dinner and he hissed at me when she left the room for a moment: ‘Why did you invite her?’ He ...

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