Christopher Chitty, Foucault’s Addendum, The New Inquiry, 3 September 2013
Finally published, Foucault’s lecture notes from 1970–71, his first year teaching at the Collège de France, demolish the caricatures of his thought.
On the first page of the lecture notes of January 27, 1971, Michel Foucault scrawled “incomplete” in his notoriously undisciplined hand. This bit of marginalia from the first year of his public lectures at the Collège de France (one of the last sets to be collected and published in English) hangs like an augury of the end of Foucault’s career, cut short by AIDS. If it’s hard not to hear artful references to his impending death in some of the final lectures at the Collège in 1984, it’s harder not to feel a deeper sense of loss with these lectures, of which there are no recordings, only notes.
In these first lectures at the Collège, the most prestigious teaching appointment in the French Academy, Foucault invited his audience to begin where he would eventually end in 1984: in sixth and fifth century Athens. The starting point will come as a shock to Foucault’s exegetes, who have been operating under the assumption that Ancient Greece was a “late” preoccupation of his. On this and many other points, the publication of Lectures on the Will to Know Lectures at the College de France, 1970-1971 requires a sweeping revision of prevailing receptions of his work.
Source: Progressive Geographies