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am 6. März 1998
My only real complaint about the book is that Foucault did not not provide enough historical information to support his primary ideas. The notion of the proliferation of sexualities(there is never just one) is intriging in light of many of our struggles in the present to create autonomous and diverse sexual cultures against the the Purity brigades who believe in maintaining the status quo where desire and bodies are constanly policed to insure they are behaving properly (this seems to hark to Foucault's other work, Discipline and Punish). This book should be read by everyone who is concerned about the fate of our sexual autonomy and how we are going to articulate ourselves in the coming millenium.
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am 5. Mai 2000
It would be easy to consider this book part and parcel of the literature on sexuality but that would be very reductive. In the Will to Knowledge, sexuality is a mere example of Foucault's archeology of knowledge. It is the new bourgoise pre-empting the inevitable by engendering sexuality as a field of knowledge only to regulate, discipline and control the manner in which it is consumed, talked about and propagated. Sexuality was not silenced nor repressed, it was invented in the Victorian era along with new rationalities pertaining to it. Compared with the second volume of the history of sexuality, "the use of pleasure", it is easy to decipher the problematization of sexuality that occured in the 19th century concering sexual idenitites, queerness, gender and conseuqntly the whole social fiber. Foucault once again lends credence to the power of discourse to color reality almost irreversibly.
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am 25. September 1999
Tough and complicated, but insightful and original. Filled with examples and historical facts, Foucault places sexuality in a light that is both riveting and thougth provoking. In all honesty, this is a tough read that is mostly geared for the graduate or postdoctorate level. The words are simple, but Foucault's language insists on interpretation and explanation. Have a good Foucault interpreter near you as you swamp through his vast world of literary theory.
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am 25. Mai 1999
The History of Sexuality Three Volumes by Michel Foucault
It is clear for the reader that sexuality as a reflective archetype sensually, historically and exegetically speaking is a rebounding dispotif which is carried throuhgout these conceived volumes by the author. They range from from (Volume 1: 'The Will to Knowledge", (Volume 2: "The Use of Pleasures") and (Volume 3: "The Care of the Self). They are treated in such a manner that here the author reflects on what one could call the 'literature of geometric triplexes' for each cannot exist without the other. Foucault background on Renaissance resemblance could have played much influence on the morphology of these volumes. They are dependently self-referential to each other and themselves whilst exhuming the psycho-body oddities and subterranean elements of sexuality from the pagan world to the present. Volume One is a treatise on why sexuality was constrained for a long time in the West. Foucault argues that it was such because of "confessional faith". Man was coerced to be a confessing animal because of Christian faith. Excessive hedonism of sex was labelled a sin. Through Christianity sex was expurgated and even taken to a climax where mentioning the name itself became a moral sin. Voyeurists, heterosexuals, faggots and prostitutes were seen as oucasts from society. Foucault with his concrete arguments freed sexuality from human established constraints. He set sex free from moral bondage. In our times where people have a fear to speak openly about sex issues especially regrding AIDS, one will find the author's treatise the most relevent concerning "sexual strangulation", the fear to speak openly about sex. Volume Two is on the sexuality of hedonism prohibited by the church. Hedonism here goes way to pagan cultures. In this treatise Foucault invites the reader to voraciously dissipate in the sexual orgy. It is all about abounding joys of eroticism. Volume Three is a secret of the libido. Thoughtfully intrinsic, it invites the reader to look into the innate ontology of the self. That which makes us sexual animals. Those who somatically carry a burden of being chromochismic ( the inability to have the penis erect) might find relief in Foucault's analysis of the gigagolic (the divided).self.
Trueman Myaka
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Foucault has an extraordinary Nietzchean ability to dismentle accepted ideas and raise new paradoxes. The irony he poses: the more we cultivate individuality and pursue personal freedom, the more hopelessly entangled we become in the menacing net of science and "bio-power." Is Foucault truly unique, or is he being clever; is he a thinker or simply an iconoclast? It's for you to determine. A very interesting book.
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History of Sexuality shows the way power shifts in relation to sexuality. Foucault goes down through history since the Age of Reason, and describes how sexuality was used by the church, and the state in order to control they way the "individual" behaves. Truly an exceptional book. Very few books are able to question history's own construction within its own definiton as this book does.
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am 2. November 1999
Foucault's three-part History of Sexuality begins here with an examination of the ways in which our contemporary interpretation of sexuality has been shaped by historical trends. Foucault makes a compelling case for the construction of sexual identity as a function of political and economic forces. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in sexuality, psychoanalysis, gender studies, queer theory, or feminisms, or indeed anyone who wishes to confront his or her own personal assumptions about gender and sexuality. Think you know what normal is? After Foucault, you may not be so sure. (One more thing: while this book is a fascinating read which can stand alone, I strongly advise anyone interested in this subject to go on to read the second and third volumes)
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am 28. Mai 2000
If you are looking for a book that matches this title, this is not the one. This workhas very few historical references, and is 98 percent theory. Not only that, but the theory isn't very interesting and is quite repetitive. Foucault argues that rather than being really repressive, Victorian society was obsessed with sex, and saw a huge proliferation of sexual "discourses". And he asks why we are so obsessed with sex, why we have exhalted it to the position of bearer of secret truth that must continually be investigated and continually elude us. Foucault has a decided affinity for conspiratorial outlooks. If you count the number of times he uses the word "power" and "discourse" in this book let me know what the tally is. In the end, unlike Madness and Civilization, which I recommend, this book is plagued in repetitive theory and discourse, and it offers a very narrow historical perspective on the topic of sexuality, data which is largely aimed at supporting his claims. This is probably the least sexual book ever written on sexuality; probably owing to Foucault's belief that sexuality is a "historical product."
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am 28. Mai 2000
If you're looking for a history of sexuality, this is not the book for you. Unlike Madness and Civilization, this work has very few historical details, and those it includes basically just support the theory of the text. Also, unlike M&C, this book is almost entirely theory, and the theory isn't even very interesting. You thought Victorian society was repressive? Well it also showed an unheard of explosion of sexual discourses! Foucault questions why we have made sex the bearer of a secret truth that must continually be sought, and continually elude us. This is likely the least sexy book ever written on sexuality; probably owing to Foucault's belief that sexuality is a "historical product."
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