I have just completed the first draft (Hopefully nearly the last one) of my novel about Foucault’s Daughter.
Imagine for a moment, if I was one of those writers who got interviewed. And the interviewer asked me how Foucault’s Daughter came into being. I would find it a very difficult question to answer.You may realise why if you read the story.
But I am afraid, dear long-suffering QRG readers, that part of my answer would involve a one Mr Simpson. I don’t know what you know about Foucault. But he worked in a period and a place when intellectual discussion was not treated as weird, abhorrent even. He was surrounded by ‘peers’ with whom he developed long and lasting, sometimes turbulent ‘dialectic’ relationships.
If you had been interviewing or reading Foucault in the 1960s and 1970s for example, it is quite likely he would mention and refer to the work of Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, and Jacques Lacan, just as much if not more than I talk and write about Mark Simpson. And, I do not know for sure, but I don’t think people then told Michel to go and ‘bum’ Barthes. Or marry him. Or ‘get a room’. Because that is what people who had ideas did. They discussed them with other people who had ideas in the same field.
One of my papers from my Phd research was called ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’. I did not know then that Foucault had made this statement. But I remember the stony silence when I gave my paper to a conference seminar. And I remember how the chair of the session ignored me and took questions from the floor to all the other speakers. I remember being ‘rejected’.