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Foucault’s Slalom

David Hoy, 4 November 1982

Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics 
by Hubert Dreyfus and Paul Rabinow, with an afterword by [afterword_writer].
Harvester, 256 pp., £18.95, October 1982, 0 7108 0450 4
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... French philosophers become notorious when, deviating from Anglo-American ‘common sense’, they appear to cast aside respect for truth, tradition, reality and reason. Michel Foucault is a case in point, for his books typify the manoeuverings that result. There is a growing body of secondary literature explaining his vagarious development, and the best study so far is a joint effort by two Berkeley scholars, Hubert Dreyfus, a philosopher, and Paul Rabinow, an anthropologist ...

Deciding Derrida

David Hoy, 18 February 1982

... Of the essays collected and excellently translated in Dissemination, the best example of Derrida’s own practice of the deconstructive criticism he fathered is ‘Plato’s Pharmacy’.* Here he pursues his question why the metaphysical tradition from Plato to the present subordinates writing to speech. Derrida is not claiming to reverse Plato and to subordinate speech acts to écriture, intentions to texts ...

After Foucault

David Hoy, 1 November 1984

Philosophy in France Today 
edited by Alan Montefiore.
Cambridge, 201 pp., £20, January 1983, 0 521 22838 7
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French Literary Theory Today: A Reader 
edited by Tzvetan Todorov, translated by R. Carter.
Cambridge, 239 pp., £19.50, October 1982, 0 521 23036 5
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Histoire de la Sexualité. Vol. II: L’Usage des Plaisirs 
by Michel Foucault.
Gallimard, 285 pp., £8.25, June 1984, 2 07 070056 9
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Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics 
by Hubert Dreyfus and Paul Rabinow.
Chicago, 256 pp., $8.95, December 1983, 0 226 16312 1
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The Foucault Reader 
edited by Paul Rabinow.
Pantheon, 350 pp., $19.95, January 1985, 0 394 52904 9
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Michel Foucault and the Subversion of Intellect 
by Karlis Racevskis.
Cornell, 172 pp., £16.50, July 1983, 0 8014 1572 1
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Michel Foucault’s Archaeology of Western Culture: Toward a New Science of History 
by Pamela Major-Poetzl.
Harvester, 281 pp., £22.50, May 1983, 0 7108 0484 9
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Michel Foucault: Social Theory as Transgression 
by Charles Lemert and Garth Gillan.
Columbia, 169 pp., £8.50, January 1984, 0 231 05190 5
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Foucault, Marxism and Critique 
by Barry Smart.
Routledge, 144 pp., £5.95, September 1983, 0 7100 9533 3
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... With the death of Michel Foucault the end of another era of French philosophy suddenly seems imminent. Jean-Paul Sartre died long after the Existentialist era had dwindled, and that phase of his philosophical work had been absorbed. Like Jacques Lacan’s death, however, Foucault’s comes at a point where debate has not settled the question of either the viability of his vision or the importance of the Post-Structuralist period ...

Philosophemes

David Hoy, 23 November 1989

Of Spirit: Heidegger and the Question 
by Jacques Derrida, translated by Geoffrey Bennington and Rachel Bowlby.
Chicago, 139 pp., £15.95, September 1989, 0 226 14317 1
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... Derrida likes to surprise, and the first surprise of this book is the title itself. The common assumption that the French Post-Structuralists abandoned the interest of their phenomenological predecessors in consciousness, subjectivity and the entire philosophical vocabulary including words like ‘spirit’ and ‘soul’ is challenged by the titles of the two recent books by Derrida, De l’esprit and Psyché, both published in France in 1987 ...

Different Stories

David Hoy, 8 January 1987

Nietzsche: Life as Literature 
by Alexander Nehamas.
Harvard, 261 pp., £14.95, January 1986, 0 674 62435 1
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... In the Birth of Tragedy Nietzsche maintains that life and the world are justifiable only aesthetically. The world is to be understood the way an artwork is, and life can become an artwork. If life depends on art rather than art merely reflecting life, the claim is not merely that artists live the best life. The paradigm is the work of art and not the historical, biographical artist: Der Mensch, says Nietzsche in section one, ist nicht mehr Künstler, er ist Kunstwerk geworden ...

Je m’en Foucault

Vincent Descombes, 5 March 1987

Foucault: A Critical Reader 
edited by David Hoy.
Blackwell, 246 pp., £27.50, September 1986, 0 631 14042 5
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Foucault 
by Gilles Deleuze.
Minuit, 141 pp., frs 58, February 1986, 2 7073 1086 7
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... visiting philosopher in the US: his ideas are discussed by the authors of the essays assembled by David Hoy in Foucault: A Critical Reader. The French Foucault and the American Foucault are not two sides of one and the same thinker: they are philosophers who hold entirely incompatible doctrines. People have for a long time wondered whether Foucault ...

Return of Oedipus

Stephen Bann, 4 March 1982

Dissemination 
by Jacques Derrida.
Athlone, 366 pp., £25, December 1981, 0 485 30005 2
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... in responding to the challenge. Writing in the last issue of this review, the American philosopher David Hoy gives courteous attention to Hartman’s redemptive strategy. But he remains sceptical about Derrida’s influence and, in the last resort, dismissive of his claims. For him, Derrida practises a ‘recognisable genre’, that of bringing philosophy ...

Dialectical Satire

Paul Edwards, 18 September 1986

The Madhouse 
by Alexander Zinoviev, translated by Michael Kirkwood.
Gollancz, 411 pp., £12.95, July 1986, 9780575037304
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Judith 
by Nicholas Mosley.
Secker, 298 pp., £11.95, August 1986, 0 436 28853 2
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Missing Persons 
by David Cook.
Alison Press/Secker, 184 pp., £9.95, July 1986, 0 436 10675 2
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Only by Mistake 
by P.J. Kavanagh.
Calder, 158 pp., £9.95, July 1986, 0 7145 4084 6
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... grace without its looking like self-satisfaction. An answer is suggested, as it happens, in David Cook’s marvellous Missing Persons. We are quite unaware, as this humorously sordid saga of bread and marge, tinned beans, false teeth, betting shops, adverts, punks, child prostitutes and novelty key-rings progresses, full of implausible chance ...

Next Stop, Reims

Ardis Butterfield: Medieval Literary Itineraries, 26 April 2018

Europe: A Literary History, 1348-1418 
by David Wallace.
Oxford, 1591 pp., £180, April 2016, 978 0 19 873535 9
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... David Wallace​ ’s Europe: A Literary History, 1348-1418 contains 82 chapters by an enormous team of international contributors spanning what Wallace describes as nine ‘itineraries’: Paris to Béarn; Calais to London; St Andrews to Finistère; Basel to Danzig; Avignon to Naples; Palermo to Tunis; Cairo to Constantinople; Mount Athos to Muscovy; Venice to Prague ...

Diary

Christopher Nicholson: Rare Birds, 22 November 2018

... appeared to be perfectly tame and fearless of man.’ Passed into the collection of a Mr Hoy of Boyle’s Court, Essex. 7. 1828, month unknown. Shot at Holme-on-Spalding-Moor, Yorkshire, by the keeper of Lord Charles Stourton. 8. 1840, month unknown. Caught in a state of exhaustion near Marshchapel in North Lincolnshire. 9. 1841, 21 December. Shot at ...

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