National treasure: writings by philosopher Michel Foucault
A news report in English about recent events in relation to the recent designation of Foucault’s archives as a national treasure for those who haven’t been able to follow postings in French on this subject on Foucault News. Source: Arts Media Agency site 5 June 2012
The partner of famous French philosopher Michel Foucault putting some 37,000 pages of the late thinker’s writings up for auction. According to the Government, they are a national treasure. Consequently, they cannot leave the country.
Valued at €3.8m, the State has to gather this sum for 2015 as numerous American universities have stated their intention to buy these writings. The French Government told the Journal Officiel that it considered these archives as “essential for the study and comprehension of Michel Foucault’s work.” These writings, dating from the middle of the 1960s until the philosopher’s death in 1948, include lecture notes, manuscripts copies, and studies necessary to the writing of his books.
The Bibliothèque Nationale de France asserted that it was confident and would be able to raise the required funds, notably through its numerous sponsors. The Musée des lettres et des manuscrits may also contribute to this acquisition.
In an interview with the French newspaper Le Monde, Daniel Defert explained that “he and the philosopher’s family would prefer to see the archives staying in France […] However, should it be impossible, he will not object to have them stored in the United States, a country which provided a lot to him.”