Michel Foucault George Steiner - Essay

George Steiner

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[Foucault's] name carried a deepening, though esoteric, resonance throughout the early sixties. But it was with "Les Mots et les Choses," published in Paris in 1966 and now published here as "The Order of Things," that Foucault assumed his current eminence.

[An] honest first reading produces an almost intolerable sense of verbosity, arrogance and obscure platitude. Page after page could be the rhetoric of a somewhat weary sybil indulging in free association. Recourse to the French text shows that this is not a matter of awkward translation. The following is a crucial but also entirely representative example:

"Philology, biology, and political economy were established, not in the...

(The entire section is 2358 words.)