Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne/Università degli Studi Roma Tre
This paper finds its starting point in the collection of previously unpublished works by Michel Foucault titled Folie, langage, littérature. Those writings, dating from the late Sixties, show the survival of an universal notion of insanity that seemed to have been already disproved by Foucault. We will confront this survival by the criticisms of two great Italians theoreticians of history: Carlo Ginzburg and Ernesto de Martino. If an universal notion of insanity is incompatible with the method of history, and more radically with any theory, according to Foucault, only Literature can legitimately speak in the subversive language of Insanity. How may we speak about and for the insane? This is the theoretical labyrinth that creates the monster of an incoherent author. But this paper also shows how Foucault builds archeological method on the foundations of a new notion of author, who is capable of continuously operate on his own thought.
Foucault – De Martino – History of Insanity – Archaeological Method – Literature