Download Death and the Labyrinth: The World of Raymond Roussel by Michel Foucault PDF

By Michel Foucault

James Faubion (Intro), Charles Ruas (tr.), John Ashbery (postscript)

Death and the Labyrinth is exclusive, being Foucault's purely paintings on literature. For Foucault this was once "by a ways the booklet I wrote most simply and with the best pleasure". the following, Foucault explores thought, feedback and psychology in the course of the texts of Raymond Roussel, one of many fathers of experimental writing, whose paintings has been celebrated through the likes of Cocteau, Duchamp, Breton, Robbe Grillet, Gide and Giacometti.

This revised variation contains an creation, chronology and bibliography to Foucault's paintings via James Faubion, an interview with Foucault, carried out purely 9 months prior to his dying, and concludes with an essay on Roussel by way of the poet John Ashbery.

Reviews:

From Publishers Weekly
In Roussel's fictional global, a clutter of kittens plays on parallel bars, humans cover themselves as tiny items, a guy wears a bracelet that may be a huge earthworm. His novels, naive performs and poems, which mesmerized the French Surrealists, are populated via human machines, fanatics taken unexpectedly, magical ingredients, prisons and tortuous symptoms. Roussel's note innovations encouraged Giacometti, and Gide respected him as a genius, but this recluse who it sounds as if devoted suicide in 1933 is at the present time thought of a minor author. Foucault (Madness and Civilization initially released this in-depth literary learn in 1963. relating to Roussel's ties to the Surrealists as incidental, Foucault indicates how Roussel used childlike units, be aware puzzles, double entendre and loose organization to create smooth myths and liberate the subconscious. Roussel's subject matters are imprisonment and liberation; Foucault, famous for his experiences of insanity, prisons and sexuality, has a traditional affinity for this compelling, occasionally vague author whose international of inhuman attractiveness turns out continuously on the brink of divulging its secrets and techniques. February 21

From Library Journal
This ebook was once written approximately twenty years in the past, simply after Foucault had found the works of Roussel, a latest of Proust whose works, whereas no longer as a rule popular, have prompted a couple of glossy writers together with Robbe-Grillet. Foucault explores the relation of phrases and issues and paradoxes of language, time, and house in Roussel's paintings. this is often the single paintings of Foucault that bargains with literature as such and it's an engaging and illuminating functionality. The e-book incorporates a beneficial creation via John Ashbery and an interview with Foucault, yet American readers who're now not accustomed to contemporary French feedback, Foucault, or Roussel will locate it tough and of marginal curiosity. Richard Kuczkowski, Dir., carrying on with schooling, Dominican Coll., Blauvelt, N.Y.

Review
"One of the real issues concerning the Roussel e-book, notwithstanding, is that it indicates that method of literature in complete flight. And examining it's a excitement, yet a excitement that's not unmixed with soreness. Foucault's personal amusement, not just of the texts of Roussel, yet of the method of manufacturing his analyses of these texts, is contagious. And if that makes us return and skim a few of Roussel's paintings, then the ebook has served an enormous function... given Foucault's personal fondness for subjugated knowledges and forgotten histories, we might be good justified in uncovering this mystery love of an anguished and obsessive younger philosopher." —Timothy O'Leary, Foucault stories, February 2009 (Timothy O’Leary)

“One of the $64000 issues in regards to the Roussel e-book, although, is that it indicates that method of literature in complete flight. And examining it's a excitement, yet a excitement that isn't unmixed with discomfort. Foucault’s personal amusement, not just of the texts of Roussel, yet of the method of manufacturing his analyses of these texts, is contagious. And if that makes us return and browse a few of Roussel’s paintings, then the publication has served an enormous function… given Foucault’s personal fondness for subjugated knowledges and forgotten histories, we might be good justified in uncovering this mystery love of an anguished and obsessive younger philosopher.” –Timothy O’Leary, Foucault reports, February 2009 (Sanford Lakoff)

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Extra resources for Death and the Labyrinth: The World of Raymond Roussel

Example text

As nothing outside can disturb the purity and glory enclosed, it finds itself in a repetition which— whether by essential fate or by sovereign will—means the elimination of the self. These genesis-texts, fecund texts, already promise the end when they will be repeated, the end which is a willed death and a return to the first threshold. 3 Rhyme and Reason I R E A L I Z E THAT my progress is halting: trying to explain these first attempts in terms of what the form would become in the future; by skipping over La Doublure, yet still referring to it in spite of Roussel's prohibition (I will keep my analysis of it for the end, when the circle will have to be completed); neglecting La Vue, Le Concert (The Concert), and La Source (The Source), which are contemporary with the period under study (but to deal with them would mean a detour); relying on his posthumous explanation as my bible, but constantly supplying material which seems to be everywhere at hand, until I am caught up in his explanation of the texts.

Perhaps they were written well before La Doublure, which was composed and published around his twentieth year. Written well before all his major works and repeated again by their publication at the time of his death, they would frame all of Roussel's language, showing at once his point of departure and of arrival, rather like the way his homonym 20 DEATH AND THE LABYRINTH sentences bracket the narratives which they compose. The word play jeunesse - genese (youth = genesis), used by Roussel when he speaks about them in his last work, would seem to indicate that their publication at just that moment also refers to their internal structure.

It's as if one were reading, linked together, all the final sentences of the early texts placed end-to-end in such a way that they overlay all the first sentences and the narrative distance that separated them. This causes a remarkable effect of liquid depth: by bringing the narrative back to the simple phrase that sums it up—"the hordes of the old plunderer"—it is possible to discern, as if at the bottom of a pool, the white pebble of that similar though imperceptible sentence; but it is only a surface undulation, a 36 D E A T H AND THE L A B Y R I N T H legible echo, and from within its silence, since it is never uttered, it sets free the whole brilliant and vibrant surface of words.

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