The Suppression of the Negative Moment in Foucault’s History of Sexuality1

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter shows how the problem noted at our first level of analysis is not only one of neglecting the thematics of Catullus’ representation of subjectivity but also of failing to account for the force of different genres of composition on that representation. It argues that the lyric collection, whether consisting in the form we currently have of Catullus’ corpus or in some other form of imaginative reconstruction, presents a model of subjectivity that cannot be homologized with that found in Michel Foucault prescriptive texts. The chapter also argues that choices made on the level of form necessarily have a determining effect on the level of content or signification. It examines how Foucault’s privileging of a single genre or small group of related genres of discourse necessarily flattens out the picture of the period’s discursive practices and makes history consist in a succession of neat synchronic systems rather than in a simultaneous co-existence of divergent and often antagonistic forces.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCultural History after Foucault
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781351312998
ISBN (Print)9781351313001
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 1998 by Taylor and Francis.


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