Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Foucault without the footnotes

Well, wouldn't this be nice? Academic work without the toil of references! Here is a long quotation found on Claire O'Farrell's blog - to her insight and superior research skills, I am indebted.

"No-one is forced to write books, or to spend years elaborating them or to claim to be doing this kind of work. There is no reason to make it obligatory to include footnotes, bibliographies and references. No reason not to choose free reflection on the work of others. It is sufficient to indicate well and clearly what relation one is establishing between one’s own work and the work of others."

"Nul n’est forcé d’écrire des livres, ni de passer des années à les élaborer, ni de se réclamer de ce genre de travail. Il n’y a aucune raison d’obliger à mettre des notes, à faire des bibliographies, à poser des references. Aucune raison de ne pas choisir la libre réflexion sur le travail des autres. Il suffit de bien marquer, et clairement, quel rapport on établit entre son travail et le travail des autres."
    Michel Foucault, (1994) [1983] ‘A propos des faiseurs d’histoire’. In Dits et Ecrits vol. IV. Paris: Gallimard, p. 413. This passage translated by Clare O’Farrell

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