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Hallucinating Foucault ❴EPUB❵ ✷ Hallucinating Foucault Author Patricia Duncker – An intricate and self reflective novel about that most delicate of relationships meaning the one between writers and readers The narrator an anonymous graduate student sets off on the trail of a Frenc An intricate and self reflective novel about that most delicate of relationships meaning the one between writers and readers The narrator an anonymous graduate student sets off on the trail of a French novelist named Paul Michel who is currently confined to an asylum Engineering his hero's release the narrator finds himself enmeshed in bizarre love triangle of which the three vertices are himself the novelist and the late Michel Foucault Sex it seems can be made safe but the oddball intimacy of reading cannot.

  • Paperback
  • 198 pages
  • Hallucinating Foucault
  • Patricia Duncker
  • German
  • 07 April 2016
  • 9783423126205

About the Author: Patricia Duncker

Patricia Duncker attended school in England and after a period spent working in Germany she read English at Newnham College Cambridge She studied for a DPhil in English and German Romanticism at St Hugh's College Oxford From she taught Literature at the University of Aberystwyth and from has been Professor of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia teachin.

10 thoughts on “Hallucinating Foucault

  1. Paul Paul says:

    This book took me by surprise; I really wasn't expecting much of it how wrong I was It is a love story well than one love story actually It is also based on wound around the philosophy of Foucault which is not always an easy read but there is a simplicity and directness here and complex ideas are expressed beautifully simply There are touches of Nietzsche Freud and I think Sartre In fact reading it took me back to when I was 19 and read Nausea; there was a similar feel; especially in the dream seuence at the end The unnamed narrator is studying the work of novelist Paul Michel who Dunckner neatly slots in the late 60s and 70s effectively post Sartre and who is gay The narrator falls in love with another student he meets in the library and she pushes him in his study of Michel This love story is a pale reflection of what comes later He discovers that Michel is now incarcerated in an institution and is mentally unwellBriefly the narrator goes to France and finds Michel The Paul Michel character is a strong one who initially appears predatory but as time goes on the reader understands the particular madness and how he has become as he is There is also proof here that sex scenes don't have to be crude steamy or be contenders for the bad sex award The description is electric but understated and rests on the unsaidThere are some thought provoking reflections; the thoughts on loneliness for me were pure existentialism; but there is much there that is not There is also a simple statement of true love that lasts over the years and survives distance;If you love someone you know where they are and what has happened to them And you put yourself at risk to save them if you can If you get into trouble I promise that I'll come to save youThe promise is kept; eventually and there is a surprising and very moving twist at the end Don't read the end first it will ruin the whole bookOn a lighter note; Harry Potter fans; if you want to know what happened to the owlIntelligent poetic beautiful love story

  2. Paul Bryant Paul Bryant says:

    ''The love between a writer and a reader is never celebrated It can never be proved to exist'' says the fictitious French author celebrated in this dodgy novel Well since the internet that’s NOT TRUE ANY MORE We rhapsodise our love for our authors till the cows come home here on GR And way after the cows are all tucked up in bed Two good things about this novel Practically paralysed by incipient grottiness I could hardly move all day today except to keep turning the pages so finished it in one day which I like to do It is very readable You don't need to know anything about Foucault who was one of those terrifying French thinkers like Lyotard and Lacan They really used to think a lot in France We don't do that here in the UK Several bad things about this novel I don’t like unnamed narrators Come on Patricia Duncker is it asking too much to think up a name? Or does the not naming somehow confer a mysterious significance on your 22 year old student? If so I did not get thatI don’t like unnamed narrators who have an intense love affair with someone they also decline to name What’s going on here? Was there a name shortage in 1995? The girlfriend is just called “the Germanist” It reminds me of how in the 19th century authors used to write fictitious addresses ending in shire and letters were headed up with dates like 18th June 18 Like they’re trying to pretend this isn’t really a novel at all so these real people's identities have to be protectedBut mostly unfortunately as I did not realise that this was the thing this novel was about I don’t like novels about novelists And there are a lot of them Novelists like to have novelists in their novels It’s a kind of back door bragging In Hallucinating Foucault there is uite an awful lot of a lot of vapourising bollocks about readers and writers and Muses and there is a lot of awe stricken worship of the unnamed protagonist’s literary obsession Paul Michel who stopped writing his brilliant novels 9 years previously when he was committed to an insane asylum in France The unnamed girlfriend inspired her unnamed boyfriend to put his money where his gob is and go and find the insane writer and kind of er rescue him or reinvigorate him or tickle him or plump up his pillows the mission isn’t too clear at that pointWhen we get to meet Paul Michel he’s in a completely sane mode and does a lot of handsomely profiled middle aged man in leather jacketed posing and is full of profound depths and could become homicidal at the drop of a croissant but in general is just out for a lark He’s like Lou Reed on a good day A lot of people liked this book but hey that’s why they call me Mr Hard To Please 25 stars

  3. Rowena Rowena says:

    “Even then I saw the darkness I see now But it was like a shadow in the corner of my eye a sudden movement as a lizard vanishes behind the shutters But in the last years I have felt the darkness gaining ground widening like a stain across the day And I have watched the darkness coming with complete serenity The door stands always open to let the darkness in Out of this knowledge too I will make my writing And I have nothing to fear” Patricia Duncker Hallucinating FoucaultI loved Hallucinating Foucault I love the title the content the language everything about it I really enjoy novels that are enriched with literary and classic references This one also had a lot of mystery so it made my reading experience even enjoyable The book tells the story of a young unnamed English student doing his dissertation on the novels of an enigmatic gay French novelist Paul Michel Michel is a strange man who controversially believes that people choose their sexuality He revels in being unconventionalMichel is obsessed with Foucault who he stated as his only influence There are rumours that Michel has become mad and has been locked up in a French mental asylum Pushed by his girlfriend the Germanistwho is herself very enigmatic and strange the student takes off to France to look for the novelistThe writing in this book is beautiful and thoughtful The book raises interesting uestions about the relationship between authors and readers As Michel says “The love between a writer and a reader is never celebrated” Paul Michel isn't even a real writer but I caught myself thinking how I'd love to read his books had he been real He really came alive for meA great book that I would recommend to everyone

  4. Aubrey Aubrey says:

    455 But you musn't have romantic ideas about them Murderers are ordinary people This is another book which had I read it a mere two to four years earlier I would have uneuivocally adored As the Foucault of the Hallucinating Foucault intimidated me too much to pick it up till now my less than loving rating stands I do not regret it as there is no guarantee that an earlier reading would have resulted in as great an understanding While it's true that I still have no real experience with actually reading Foucault in the cohesive entirety of one of his works enough bits and pieces of Discipline and Punish and The Order of Things have reached me for general comprehension purposes And of course Foucault is very French in his academia so reading enough Sartre and de Beauvoir and Camus and the rest as I did will give you an idea of what you're getting intoDespite my desire to become an English professor I will never be comfortable with closeting myself into the bell jar of theory and perdition that this and other works choose to rhapsodize about in the key of Upper Class Thinking The whole of this book was captured in the second part of Burger's Daughter with a great deal depth of insight into the structuring of such an environment so I could never get rid of the feeling of something lacking This coupled with the inevitable tunnel vision of a love story made for something that was very pretty very cool but ultimately something that dabbled in whatever serious subject material it touched upon Death madness excrement admittedly with empathy than most books of this type would but it neither hedged its bets nor went far enough for my liking Also the main female character came off Manic Pixie Dream Girl than anything else but whether I say that out of true consternation or disturbed resonance with some of her ferocious attributes in the realms of academia and social intercourse is well indeterminable I make the same demands of people and fictional texts petit—that they should be open ended carry within them the possibility of being and of changing whoever it is they encounter Then it will work—the dynamic that there must always be—between the writer and the reader Beyond all my uibbling there were some passages that gripped me by the throat and refuse to let go There was a time when my love of books led me to believe I was interested in reading of others' love for such but enough trials and errors have passed me by to realize that as with any reading only a certain type of love will resonate Duncker came the closest to my love that any author has since Maugham enough for me to fear even the inevitable reread of Of Human Bondage and all accompanying reevaluations of the potentially less than enthused sort However much as I wish to be a professor for the provocation of thought rather than the security of finances it is the flux that I favor above all else There would be no point to picking up that next piece of work if it were otherwise There are times in life when the uestion of knowing if one can think differently than one thinks and perceive differently than one sees is absolutely necessary if one is to go on looking and reflecting at all PS Someone adapt this for the big screen pretty please

  5. Stephen P Stephen P says:

    The captivating title ladles servings of disappointment and hope in uneven swathes A philosophical fiction a novel of academia a book on the creative mind story of a writer Any one of these would prove necessary for me to read immediately It was a book of all of these but first it was a novel Its parts sprung from the story shoots and growth At times a 2 star rating at times touching a spiraling 5 I saw where it meant to arrive Then in advance I placed my money down on the table with a wry smile on the numbered choice of the author's craft of teasing with the obvious and predictable then switching to a beguiling direction The casino card dealer turned over his card I placed my hand down hard between his and my chips I gave the cocksure upward nod of the head intimidating or revealing the need for further chiropractic work He said You lost Count your cards I laughed You do the counting I smiled looking down at my ueen and ten Offered him the same He grinned glancing at his ace and king while shoveling my chips from me What? Duncker had slipped the narrative off a third way thenShe never notifying me no phone calls collect or otherwise e mails telegrams no police at my door to tell me my egoism died in a reading accident Following the funeral service which only I attended tear struck humbled I continued an open reading of this novel of ideas intricate and fascinating relationships our passive graduate student narrator and his undefined relationship with a cold demanding woman who could care less about these ualities for she studied and knew everything She studied Schiller loving the act of this study his writing thought ideas the Him of the writer and the She of the Reader the narrator's relationship with a fictional author this author's relationship with Michael Foucault not in the flesh but responding to each others published work with the next of their own Finally his girlfriend's? demeaning push for him to shed his passivity and free this author from an asylum in France The relationships are provocative rounded and articulated as though molded by the crafted hands of a sculptor The weave of her prose invites one into the story provides an opportunity to know these characters within to live the pressure of obsession the tingled compulsion of creativity the bursting of boundaries beauty of love surprise There was no reason to search for doors to leave for there were none Shaded corners were provided for brief rests but returns were necessary imminent In the end there was a snap I felt it along the neck and down the vertebrae of my spine My chiropractor readjusted all that needed readjusting telling me that even though I might never lose again to stay away from casinos and to be careful of what I read At the end all the scraps details pieces come together surprising haunted perfect An architecture of finely drawn lines This book expressing the grace and palpability of the relationship between writer and reader was her first novel In the book she comments how authors writing a first novel make the mistake of trying to include everything She is about to err herself keeps seeming as though she will But maybe she knows what she is doing I would bet money on RECOMMENDED FOR Those who love to read Those who seek seeking Those who enjoy the multiplying of genres into something uniue 4 Stars Need to save one for her next book It might even be better

  6. Zanna Zanna says:

    I wish I had read Foucault I am sure that I would have got out of this rich pungent morsel of a book if I understood about the inspiration I feel sure that master of mindfulness Jean Michel is a Foucauldian hero living at risk fiercly political passionate yet detached to the point of psychopathy producing classical harmonious mysteriously civilized art And that the nameless Germanist writing love letters to Schiller is a Foucauldian feminist But I am jumping to conclusions in both casesI found the narrator oddly watery and cipherous He responds he initiates he exhibits courage passions tastes But he seems somehow flat bodiless without character beside every other member of the cast who dance onto the novel's stage in vivid colour and make themselves felt sometimes painfully in my psyche Stopping short of aggression this vivaciousness drives the story the world would slump to a bland halt without these Nietzschean personalities mercilessly driving it roundI wonder why Duncker lavishes so much attention on her description of certain habitations here because this is a work that doesn't waste wordsThe little glass animals crowding the surfaces in the room where the narrator lodges and the labyrinthine redolent spaces of the psychiatric hospital are meant to affect me and they do hooks drawing me into the young man's experience but also signifying about these places and the interests of their designersOn reflection the attention to place is a key component of what makes this book in my opinion gothic dark romantic excessive Rather than magical the effect is unheimlich discomforting As the threads of the plot begin to tie up I started to wonder if I had dreamed the whole thing

  7. Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly says:

    I am a straight guy and this is a gay love story Towards the end however I felt like I'm tearing up Nicholas Sparksed and ready to vote this dialogue as the greatest one in a gay love themed novel of all timeIf you love someone you know where they are and what has happened to them And you put yourself at risk to save them if you can If you get into trouble I promise that I'll come to save youIt was uttered by a girl to a gay author who thought she was a boy then fast forward many years she sends her own lover to save him Ah what the mind can conceive This gem of a book has all the things people here at goodreads can't do without sex desire dreams books authors and their readers writing love and life itself

  8. Jonfaith Jonfaith says:

    You write your first novel with the desperation of the damned You're afraid that you'll never write anything else ever againLiterature like this is my soft spot I can't admit to a longing for mysteries or space operas but I cab readily become excited by the idea of a novel flirting with philosophy In this case a philosopher or a provocative abstraction of one anyway I thought in the opening pages that this would be Salinger meets post structuralism Then I thought it was an epilogue to the Bell Jar only in Paris May '68 Then I eventually sensed where matters were headed A grad student is studying an infamous French novelist one who's transgressive ethos appeared to have found its theoretical foundations in the philosophy of Michel Foucault After some undue coaxing from his love interest the graduate student searches out the novelist to the asylum and beyond There was a crackle of excitement as Paul Michel finally answers the uestion about Foucault and then just as suddenly there was a heavy handed synchronicity I don't wear that so well these days I was disappointed

  9. Nick Wellings Nick Wellings says:

    A very well drawn perfectly paced novel I am reminded of Gidé's Fruits of the Earth I am sure Drucker meant to refer to this Characters and event are believable though I am still not sure why this is a criterion of uality for me even when it comes to outrageous or 'modernist' writing eg Gravity's Rainbow Ulysses Who in the first can truly believe that a titanic adenoid might menace a city and in the latter that Polyphemus is once slain albeit symbolically in early twentieth century Dublin? Perhaps it is therefore only weight of an author's commitment to some kind of truth then that I respond to A truth that is if parsed synonymous with both love for subject and a need to make this subject heard Duncker's novel is thus an exploration of what happens when a writer finds an ideal reader The event of when a writer finds a perfect listener For to read is one thing To hear and be bewitched by allure another Thus rather than Barthes' famous pronouncement on death of the author we instead get a kind of birthing The unnamed post grad in the book embarks on a uixotic journey to meet the insane subject of his research and in so doing to scrunch the book into Procrustean bed of tropes he undergoes an internal change he loves where once we are led to believe it seems he might not be disposed to do so A type of living is birthed in him only to collapse in the last few almost tragic pages So too is this a book about books It is a book about love for books that leads one to study them It is a book that uestions if an author truly can as per Barthes above be divorced from his text and we may recall it is no accident that the French were to 'problematise' this relationship in the middle Twentieth Century foundations being laid for its plumbing by Saint Beauve in the 19thLastly the book is about love that breaches convention the postgrad's love breaches personal norms becoming love which guides and consoles Curiosity becomes fixation becomes ideation becomes obsession Almost a Proustian matrix the stronger for being exclusive and outside Postgrad's normative way of being A holiday romance with a beguiling devotional twistTechnically because this matters beyond mere story for me Duncker's prose is controlled her line well measured and precise not once verging into melisma or excess I want to write a song and call it 'Prancing Kittens' Her narrator's voice is again believable sine ua non of successful reading experience However a minor gripe If as a whole her fictional enterprise succeeds so much so that I googled Paul Michel to see if he existed knowing he never did some elements challenge her easy mimetic flow view spoilereg witness the 'agent of Minerva' shall we say intimated and suggested early in the novel as it should be to set up its symbolic heritage within the work only for it not to be used ua Socrates and Nordic ly as some kind of ironic comment on uest for knowledge being not the same as the gathering to self of wisdom but instead to be used as actual agent of Michel's death Bird meets voiture meets face Truly bizarre Duncker aims for the verisimilitude of the 'you couldn't make it up' kind even though she did but for the extraordinary to work as this kind of epistemic and visceral shock to have it appear as a kind of truly 'freak accident' it has to happen without reference without intimation of fate symbolic or otherwise Though Duncker doesn't exactly telegraph her sucker punch she does lessen its impact The owl v man a slight mistep in the events Rather Michel had died careening down a ravine yes how lame I know or something than the slightly clumsy though oddly humourous? demise Duncker writes for him hide spoiler

  10. lethe lethe says:

    I must have missed something or else I am a philistine because I don't understand where all the great reviews come from I found the writing intellectualistic cold aloof — the nameless narrator talking about his girlfriend consistently calls her the Germanist we never learn her name — and I could not connect with it at allThe only thing the book has got going for it is that it's short and a uick read so I didn't waste too much time

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