Archive for the ‘Michel Foucault’ Category

I like Lionel Shriver

In Lionel Shriver, Michel Foucault, Philosophie on Oktober 22, 2013 at 10:21 am


When we sit down for breakfast (which is around noon) we usually discuss one common problem: Do you need to have read Foucault, Judith Butler, and Adorno? Or is it enough to scan the comments about their books on Amazon? The answer of M. (not in the picture) is usually: I give a shit! So I contemplate the problem all by myself, aloud, to annoy my boyfriend.
I would love to read those three. I think it is impossible to understand health prevention failure without Foucault, impossible to persuade my boyfriend to wear a dress without Butler (I did so with my ex-boyfriend, which may explain why he is ex), and impossible to make sure other people really understand how deep I am without mentioning Adorno.
Last week my girlfriend, who used to be a ground school teacher, exclaimed over coffee, “Good God, you have never read Foucault? But I lent you his book! “Yeah,” I said, “I gave it back, but I didn’t read it.” It was about sexuality, and I don´t like that topic. (As opposed to my girlfriend, who is now in training to become a psychoanalyst – thank you Foucault.) The whole experience was an awakening. What a good way to show off – “What, you have never read …?”
So, what sounds better: What, you have never read Foucault, Butler, or Adorno? Since my girlfriend/ex-teacher/soon-to-be psychoanalyst was opting for Foucault, I thought I should choose somebody else. Judith Butler, I guess. Since I´m a feminist (not the only one in the household since my girlfriend/exteacher/soon to be psychoanalyst found the book “Stiffed” by Susan Faludi on the street and gave it to my boyfriend for Christmas.) Judith Butler would be the person to choose to show off with. Yet, the comments on her books are disheartening: unreadable, full of hot air, painful, overblown, verbal garbage, not doing the cause any good … etc. And you might meet somebody who can answer your snobby question with: yes I read her, but what a pain. And that is not good for your cause: to elicit the most awe in the other.
Adorno I don´t know shit about, and he doesn’t sound so hip. No idea, why. So Foucault is it. Maybe not the S-stuff, but something less well known. Yet, I don´t want to read that stuff, waste of time, I rather go on with the next book of my newly discovered favorite author Lionel Shriver. (M mumbles by now; “are you through thinking aloud, want another Weisswurst?”) It seems like an unsolvable dilemma. Yet I solved it. I promised my boyfriend five 20 minute long backrubs when he reads Foucault (in English) and summarizes it for me. He agreed. The only other way would be that Lionel Shriver sends me an email. Telling me she would have a glass of wine with me in the Unterfahrt (Munich Jazzclub), but only when I have read Foucault /Butler/Adorno. Otherwise, having a conversation with me would be just too dull for her. Then I would do it.
I like it when the reader takes something home with them from my texts. This is a start: close your eyes and try to write the name of the French philosopher that I have mentioned eight separate times. If you get it right, you have learned something. The next blog, I promise, is a summary of that guy.

photo*: PhotoSuse / photocase.com

* This is not my boyfriend.