The Passion and the Pleasure Foucault's Art of Not Being Oneself

Theory, Culture and Society 20 (2):119-144 (2003)


This article interprets Foucault's life-long involvement with transgressive experiences as an art of not being oneself, an effort to escape identity and become other. By bringing together Foucault's own theoretical practices with those drawn from Deleuze and Blanchot, and linking these with biographical material, I show how Foucault's `encounters' with passion and pleasure in film, philosophy, S/M, drugs, the Greeks and suicide amount to an `art of living', an intensification of the power to affect oneself and others in processes of `subjectivation', creating new possibilities of life. This is what Foucault more precisely called an `ethics' - an immanent ethics in which one becomes worthy of what happens to oneself by becoming a work of art.

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References found in this work

Il y a— A Dying Stronger Than Death.Simon Critchley - 1993 - Oxford Literary Review 15 (1):81-132.
Thought of the Outside.Keith Robinson - 1999 - Philosophy Today 43 (1):57-72.

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