To Foucault, A Daughter: Review

Posted: March 3, 2012 in Foucault, Freedom of Speech, Uncategorized, Writing
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This is a review by Mark Simpson of my novella Scribbling On Foucault’s Walls.

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Reg­u­lar vis­i­tors to this blog will be famil­iar with the spir­ited, sharp, thought­ful, charm­ing, insistently-infuriatingly rea­son­able — and occa­sion­ally down­right can­tan­ker­ous — com­menter Elly, alias Quiet Riot Girl.

Elly gave me enor­mous encour­age­ment and sup­port in putting together Metrosexy, which in all hon­esty prob­a­bly would never have seen the light of day with­out her. She also proved tire­less in spread­ing the word about it.

Elly is not only extremely enthu­si­as­tic about the con­cept of met­ro­sex­u­al­ity, she’s one of the few peo­ple to really engage with it and grasp its import. Per­haps more so than even Metro­daddy him­self, who remains some­thing of a dead­beat dad.

This is why Met­ro­sexy is ded­i­cated to her.

Now Elly has given birth to her own off­spring. A bounc­ing novella called Foucault’s Daugh­ter, about what might have hap­pened if the famous bald homo French philoso­pher had been a sin­gle dad, jug­gling cruis­ing Parisian S/M sex clubs with school runs. There is of course more than a lit­tle bit of QRG in Dr Foucault’s sprog, who scrib­bles all over his nice clean walls and then spends most of her adult life try­ing to live down and up to her father. Insist­ing that ‘macho fags’ (in QRG’s favourite phrase) acknowl­edge the (lit­tle) lady in their life.

It’s a fan­tas­ti­cally, pos­si­bly madly ambi­tious work that self-consciously nego­ti­ates her own highly informed, passionate-but-critical and ulti­mately highly ambiva­lent invest­ment in that very nearly extinct species: The Homo­sex­ual Intel­lec­tual. It won’t be giv­ing too much away to tell you that Foucault’s Daugh­ter, after pro­long­ing the agony of The Homo­sex­ual Intel­lec­tual with its inter­est in him (who else shows any these days?), comes very close to euth­a­niz­ing him.

Many pas­sages in it are beau­ti­fully writ­ten and breath­tak­ingly vivid. The scene, for instance, which rehearses the death of the famous cul­tural critic and QRG hero Roland Barthes in a traf­fic acci­dent stays with you. Even if you feel he is being ever-so-slightly, ever-so-lovingly pushed into the path of the oncom­ing laun­dry van.

So I strongly rec­om­mend you read Foucault’s Daugh­ter (which is free to down­load here). But if you do, you’ll also under­stand why, in the end, QRG and me, alas, had to go our sep­a­rate ways.

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Comments
  1. […] envy and a kitchen knife’ I remarked, not so long ago, in relation to my most recent role as a back-room girl. It does tend to stir in me a kind of resentful rage. But, I don’t regret one single thing I have […]

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