Chuck Grimes cgrimes at tsoft.com
Thu Feb 11 12:49:24 PST 1999

Yoshie writes:

Any oppressed group wants to know its own history. Mastering history, it seeks to recover, master, and work through subjugated knowledge (how it came to be the object of oppression) and suppressed popular memories (how its forebears or predecessors lived, struggled, survived, and sometimes even won some victories). Foucault spoke very eloquently of how (and to whose benefit) popular memories of rebellions have been erased from history.

The ruling class and its dominant ideology always seek to deny us our history and memories.


At the risk of sounding both pompous and pretentious, try making the following comparison. Go get two big art books at the library; one of Michelangelo Caravaggio (the one by Mia is good), and the other on David Hockney (there is a good one put out by Abrams). Set them up on a desk and open them to a large reproduction in each. Spend say, twenty minutes looking at them together.

Then come back to the list and tell me Foucault and Butler, or David Hockney's equivalents have interrogated the nature of sexuality, sensuality, homosexuality, and their profound interconnections with psyche, history, and power. Think about how the mix of space and light on form and darkness have interpenetrated the entire western psyche through Rembrandt and others, on into film noir, and the high contrast photography of the mid-century, to fold these into the meanings and interrogations of depth in space as depth and nuance in sensibility and sensuality. Now, contrast this to Hockney's legacy in pasteled and flat manikins, doll cut-outs, pasted into pretty and decorously walled interiors.

I brought up this comparison, because I decided to take a detour from Butler to Hegel and have about finished the sixty page preface to Phenomenology of Mind, the work Butler uses in the Bondsman and Unhappy Conscious sections of Psychic Life of Power.

Chuck Grimes

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