I. Foucault on Writing and Confession By the time of “Self Writing,” Foucault had already written and lectured a good deal on various aspects of the Greek and Roman arts of the self, including the role of writing. But reading and writing must not be dissociated; one ought to “have alternate recourse” to those two pursuits and “blend one with the other.” If too much writing is exhausting (Seneca is thinking of the demands of style), excessive reading has a scattering effect: “In reading of many books is distraction.” By going constantly from book to book, without ever stopping, without returning to the hive now and then with one’s supply of nectar —hence without taking notes or constituting a treasure store of reading— one is liable to retain nothing, to spread oneself across different thoughts, and to forget oneself. This practice can be connected to a very general theme of the period; in any case, it is common to the moral philosophy of the Stoics and that of the Epicureans —the refusal of a mental attitude turned toward the future (which, due to its uncertainty, causes anxiety and agitation of the soul) and the positive value given to the possession of a past that one can enjoy to the full and without disturbance. Yet while it enables one to counteract dispersal, the writing of the hupomnemata is also (and must remain) a regular and deliberate practice of the disparate. Then, after paying my respects to my father, I relieved my throat, I will not say by gargling —though the word gargarisso is I believe, found in Novius and elsewhere— but by swallowing honey water as far as the gullet and ejecting it again. Cynthia R. Nielsen - 2014 - Heythrop Journal 55 (2):188-202. In the case of the epistolary account of oneself, it is a matter of bringing into congruence the gaze of the other and that gaze which one aims at oneself when one measures one’s everyday actions according to the rules of a technique of living. This was one of the traditional principles to which the Pythagoreans, the Socratics, the Cynics had long attached a great importance. This text —one of the oldest that Christian literature has left us on the subject of spiritual writing— is far from exhausting all the meanings and forms the latter will take on later. Letter 34 already signals this movement, starting from a situation in which Seneca could nonetheless tell his correspondent; “I claim you for myself… I exhorted you, I applied the goad and did not permit you to march lazily, but roused you continually. The date of its writing is uncertain, and it may be a spurious Platonic dialogue. But one can focus several of its features that enable one to analyze retrospectively the role of writing in the philosophical cultivation of the self just before Christianity: its close link with companionship, its application to the impulses of thought, its role as a truth test. These hupomnemata should not be thought of simply as a memory support, which might be consulted from time to time, as occasion arose; they are not meant to be substituted for a recollection that may fail. Michael Foucault's writing has shaped the teaching of half a dozen disciplines, ranging from literary criticism to the history of criminology. Through those written lessons, Seneca continues to exercise himself; according to two principles that he often invokes; it is necessary to train oneself all one’s life, and one always needs the help of others in the soul’s labor upon itself. For example, Letter 99 to Lucilius: it is in itself the copy of another missive that Seneca had sent to Marullus, whose son had died some time before. — Foucault, Michel. In any case, the texts from the imperial epoch relating to practices of the self placed good deal of stress on writing. The 'Foucault effect' may, or such is our hope, For, as Seneca points out, when one writes one reads what one writes, just as in saying something one hears oneself saying it. Foucault from 1980 (the Dartmouth College lectures) to 1982 (The hermeneutics of the subject). This volume is a partial record of that seminar. Foucault observed that there is a parcel of thought in even the crassest and most obtuse parts of social reality, which is why criticism can be a real power fo r change, depriving some practices of their self-evidence, extending the bounds of the thinkable to permit the invention of others. So I insisted on being carried longer than usual, along an attractive beach, which bends between Cumae and Servilius Vatia’s country house, shut in by the sea on one side and the lake on the other, just like a narrow path. Michel Foucault tells us about a form of self writing called the hupomnemata in an essay titled Self Writing in his book Ethics: Subjectivity and Truth. It is not my intention to study dates but to point the principal features of the care of self which is the center of the dialogue. And by this it should be understood that the letter is both a gaze that one focuses on the addressee (through the missive he receives, he feels looked at) and a way of offering oneself to his gaze by what one tells him about oneself. In return, the missive, by deﬁnition a text meant for others, also provides occasion for a personal exercise. Still, we are left with a phenomenon that may be a little surprising, but which is full of meaning for anyone wishing to write a history of the cultivation of the self: the ﬁrst historical developments of the narrative of the self are not to be sought in the direction of the “personal notebooks,” the hupomnemata, whose role is to enable the formation of the self out of the collected discourse of others, they can be found, on the other hand, in the correspondence with others and the exchange of soul service. “I thank you for writing to me so often; for you are revealing yourself to me [te mihi ostendis] in the only way you can. In this same Letter 84 —which constitutes a kind of short treatise on the relations between reading and writing— Seneca dwells for a moment on the ethical problem of resemblance, of faithfulness and originality. “So you should always read standard authors; and when you crave a change, fall back upon those whom you read before. To begin with, Foucault is not addressing what constitutes the subject, but how the… Foucault (1926-1984). In this case— that of the hupomnemata— it was a matter of constituting oneself as a subject of rational action through the appropriation, the uniﬁcation, and the subjectivation of a fragmentary and selected already-said; in the case of the monastic notation of spiritual experiences, it will be a matter of dislodging the most hidden impulses from the inner recesses of the soul, thus enabling oneself to break free of them. The Foucault Reader precisely serves that purpose. about the role of reading and writing in constituting the self. Download FOUCAULT, SUBJECTIVITY, AND SELF- WRITING IN BRAZILIAN ... book pdf free download link or read online here in PDF. “We are well. Michel Foucault’s time in the United States in the last years of his life, particularly his time as a lecturer at UC Berkeley, proved to be extraordinarily productive in the development of his theoretical understanding of what he saw as the central question facing the contemporary West: the question of the self. Eg har latt intervjuerne stå oppførst i innholdsfortegnelsen. And now I do the same; but by this time I am now cheering on one who is in the race and so in turn cheers me on.” And in the following letter he evokes the reward for perfect friendship, in which each of the two will be for the other the continuous support, the inexhaustible he that will be mentioned in Letter 109:”Skilled wrestlers are kept up the mark by practice; a musician is stirred to action by one of equal proﬁciency. The Neoplatonists in the third or fourth century A.D. show the signiﬁcance given to this dialogue and the importance it assumed in the classical tradition. A third meaning of the concept re-fers to a distinctive art of government that historically emerges with liberal forms of social regulation and individual self-governance. Apparently, a part of the function of all this ceaseless writing was a kind of benevolent self-surveillance. They wanted to organize … The other is circular: the meditation precedes the notes which enable the rereading which in turn reinitiates the meditation. Stultitia is deﬁned by mental agitation, distraction, change of opinions and wishes, and consequently weakness in the face of all the events that may occur; it is also characterized by the fact that it turns the mind toward the future, makes it interested in novel ideas, and prevents it from providing a ﬁxed point for itself in the possession of an acquired truth.8 The writing of hupomnemata resists this scattering by ﬁxing acquired elements, and by constituting a share of the past, as it were, toward which it is always possible to turn back, to withdraw. As an element of self-training, writing has, to use an expression that one ﬁnds in Plutarch, an ethopoietic function: it is an agent of the transformation of truth into ethos. The notebook is governed by two principles, which one might call “the local truth of the precept” and “its circumstantial use value.” Seneca selects what he will note down for himself and his correspondents from one of the philosophers of his own sect, but also from Democritus and Epicurus. Now, then, let the written account stand for the eyes of our fellow ascetics, so that blushing at writing the same as if we were actually seen, we may never ponder evil. This is my own custom; from tho many things which I have read, I claim some part for myself. In the following audio recording, Michel Foucault lectures at UC Berkeley in 1983, a year before his death, on the subject “The Culture of the Self.” Foucault starts with a story written by Greek satirist Lucian. But the main part of the day —and this is what takes up the longest part of the letter— is devoted to meditating on the theme suggested by a Sophistic syllogism of Zeno’s, concerning drunkenness. And, with the help of what is reading for the one, writing for the other, Lucilius and Seneca will have increased their readiness for the case in which this type of event befalls them. When the missive becomes an account of an ordinary day, a day to oneself, one sees that it relates closely to a practice that Seneca discreetly alludes to, moreover, at the beginning of Letter 83, where he evokes the especially useful habit of “reviewing one’s day”: this is the self-examination whose form he had described in a passage of the De Ira. But I ﬁnally succumbed, and arrived at such a state that I could do nothing but snufﬂe, reduced as I was to the extremity of thinness. Who, having sinned, would not choose to lie, hoping to escape detection? Molding ourselves in this way, we shall be able to bring our body into subjection, to please the Lord and to trample under foot the machinations of the Enemy.” Here, writing about oneself appears clearly in its relationship of complementarity with reclusion: it palliates the dangers of solitude; it offers what one has done or thought to a possible gaze; the fact of obliging oneself to write plays the role of a companion by giving rise to the fear of disapproval and to shame. The reciprocity that correspondence establishes is not simply that of counsel and aid; it is the reciprocity of the gaze and the examination. Unearthing Consonances in Foucault's Account of Greco‐Roman Self‐Writing and Christian Technologies of the Self. Its value is owing to the very fact that nothing has happened which might have diverted him from the only thing that is important for him to attend to himself. Foucault, leads to a form of critical self-knowledge that promises a certain freedom. But the latter is not implemented in the art of composing an ensemble; it must be established in the writer himself, as a result of the hupomnemata, of their construction (and hence in the very; act of writing) and of their consultation (and hence in their reading and their rereading) Two processes can be distinguished. To recount one’s day —not because of the importanceof the events that may have marked it, but precisely even though there was nothing about it apart from its being like all the others, testifying in this way not to the importance of an activity but to the quality of a mode of being —forms part of the epistolary practice: Lucilius ﬁnds it natural to ask Seneca to “give [him] an account of each separate day, and of the whole day too.” And Seneca accepts this obligation all the more willingly as it commits him to living under the gaze of others without having anything to conceal: “I shall therefore do as you bid, and shall gladly inform you by letter what I am doing, and in what sequence. The hupomnemata contribute one of the means by which one detaches the soul from concern for the future and redirects it toward contemplation of the past. However personal they may be, these hupomnemata ought not to be understood as intimate journals or as those accounts of spiritual experience (temptations, struggles, downfalls, and victories) that will be found in later Christian literature. Claim: Three things characterize this period of Foucault's writings: 1) the rupture with his methodology of the 1970s; 2) the reconceptualization of We must digest it: otherwise it will merely enter the memory and not the reasoning power [in memoriam non in ingenium]. In a sense, the letter sets up a face-to-face meeting. The letter that, as an exercise, works toward the subjectivation of true discourse, its assimilation and its transformation as a “personal asset.” also constitutes, at the same time, an objectiﬁcation of the soul. But none of his books offers a satisfactory introduction to the entire complex body of his work. They constitute, rather, a material and a framework for exercises to be carried out frequently: reading, rereading, meditating, conversing with oneself and with others. Each day acquire something that will fortify you against poverty, against death, indeed against other misfortunes as well; and after you have run over many thoughts, select one to be thoroughly digested that day. In the story, Hermotimus, a Greek philosopher, walks mumbling in the street. 1 The book Foucault envisioned was based on a faculty seminar on "Technologies of the Self," originally presented at the University of Vermont in the fall of 1982. The letter one sends in order to help one’s correspondent —advise him, exhort him, admonish him, console him— constitutes for the writer a kind of training: something like soldiers in peacetime practicing the manual of arms, the opinions that one gives to others in a pressing situation are a way of preparing oneself for a similar eventuality. These pages are part of a series of studies on “the arts of oneself”, that is, on the aesthetics of existence and the government of oneself and of other in Greco-Roman culture during the ﬁrst two centuries of the empire. A wee bit of bread, though I saw others devouring beans, onions, and herrings full of roe. Seneca stresses the point: the practice of the self involves reading, for one could not draw everything from ones own stock or arm oneself by oneself with the principles of reason that are indispensable for self-conduct: guide or example, the help of others is necessary. What do you think I ate? For that which is sweetest when we meet face to face is afforded by the impress of a friend’s hand upon his letter —recognition.”. Among them, the most important were his friends, who “helped me greatly towards good health; I used to be comforted by their cheering words, by the hours they spent at my bedside, and by their conversation.” It also happens that the letters retrace the movement that has led from a subjective impression to an exercise of thought. These diverse elements are found already in Seneca, Plutarch, Marcus Aurelius, but with very different values and following altogether different procedures. Indeed, even scholars who dispute this thinker's claims are compelled to acknowledge the contribution represented by his work in these areas. This article highlights ways of writing that enhance teachers' performance and professionalism by foregrounding their role as learners. - -- - Writing is a very important means by which we can work on ourselves.Yet as a ((techno- logy of the self}} writing has changed substantially at different timcs during European his- For example, the long and important Letter 78 to Lucilius: it is devoted for the most part to the problem of the “good use” of illnesses and suffering; but it opens with the recollection of a grave illness that Seneca had suffered in his youth, which was accompanied by a moral crisis.