10 January 2014

"The book transforms me and transforms what I think"


I'm perfectly aware of always being on the move in relation both to the things I'm interested in and to what I've already thought. What I think is never quite the same, because for me my books are experiences, in a sense, that I would like to be as full as possible. An experience is something that one comes out of transformed. If I had to write a book to communicate what I'm already thinking before I begin to write, I would never have the courage to begin. I write a book only because I still don't exactly know what to think about this thing I want so much to think about, so that the book transforms me and transforms what I think. Each book transforms what I was thinking when I was finishing the previous book. I am an experimenter and not a theorist. I call a theorist someone who constructs a general system, either deductive or analytical, and applies it to different fields in a uniform way. That isn't my case. I'm an experimenter in the sense that I write in order to change myself and in order not to think the same thing as before.

—Michel Foucault,
interview with D. Trombadori, 1978;
from Power pp. 239-240

1 comment:

  1. Excellent quote there. It's been too long since I've last read Foucault and this tempts me mightily.

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