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Language, Madness, and DesireOn Literature$
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Jean-François Bert and Mathieu Potte-Bonneville

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780816693238

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816693238.001.0001

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What Is Literature?

What Is Literature?

Chapter:
(p.45) Session 1 What Is Literature?
Source:
Language, Madness, and Desire
Author(s):

Michel Foucault

, Philippe Artières, Jean-François Bert, Mathieu Potte-Bonneville, Judith Revel, Robert Bononno
Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816693238.003.0003

A discussion of the relation between language, the literary work, and literature. Foucault reexamens themes that appear in his writings on literature in the 1960s. During the first part of the lecture, the modern experience of literature is described as the oscillation of language with itself, of which the literary work would be both the crystallization and the transgression. Foucault refers to authors that appeared frequently in his work throughout the sixties—Sade, Cervantes, Joyce—along with others less commonly associated with his research—Proust, Chateaubriand, Racine, and Corneille.

Keywords:   literature, French literature, madness, criticism, Raymond Roussel, Michel Leiris, Marquis de Sade, La Nouvelle Justine, truth and desire, philosophy

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