Read Saint Foucault: Towards a Gay Hagiography by David M. Halperin Online


"Up to this year I have always felt that I had no particular call to meddle with this subject....But I feel now that the time is come when even a woman or a child who can speak a word for freedom and humanity is bound to speak." Thus did Harriet Beecher Stowe announce her decision to begin work on what would become one of the most influential novels ever written. The subje"Up to this year I have always felt that I had no particular call to meddle with this subject....But I feel now that the time is come when even a woman or a child who can speak a word for freedom and humanity is bound to speak." Thus did Harriet Beecher Stowe announce her decision to begin work on what would become one of the most influential novels ever written. The subject she had hesitated to "meddle with" was slavery, and the novel, of course, was Uncle Tom's Cabin. Still debated today for its portrayal of African Americans and its unresolved place in the literary canon, Stowe's best-known work was first published in weekly installments from June 5, 1851 to April 1, 1852. It caused such a stir in both the North and South, and even in Great Britain, that when Stowe met President Lincoln in 1862 he is said to have greeted her with the words, "So you are the little woman who wrote the book that created this great war!" In this landmark book, the first full-scale biography of Harriet Beecher Stowe in over fifty years, Joan D. Hedrick tells the absorbing story of this gifted, complex, and contradictory woman. Hedrick takes readers into the multilayered world of nineteenth century morals and mores, exploring the influence of then-popular ideas of "true womanhood" on Stowe's upbringing as a member of the outspoken Beecher clan, and her eventful life as a writer and shaper of public opinion who was also a mother of seven. It offers a lively record of the flourishing parlor societies that launched and sustained Stowe throughout the 44 years of her career, and the harsh physical realities that governed so many women's lives. The epidemics, high infant mortality, and often disastrous medical practices of the day are portrayed in moving detail, against the backdrop of western expansion, and the great social upheaval accompanying the abolitionist movement and the entry of women into public life. Here are Stowe's public triumphs, both before and after the Civil War, and the private tragedies that included the death of her adored eighteen month old son, the drowning of another son, and the alcohol and morphine addictions of two of her other children. The daughter, sister, and wife of prominent ministers, Stowe channeled her anguish and her ambition into a socially acceptable anger on behalf of others, transforming her private experience into powerful narratives that moved a nation. Magisterial in its breadth and rich in detail, this definitive portrait explores the full measure of Harriet Beecher Stowe's life, and her contribution to American literature. Perceptive and engaging, it illuminates the career of a major writer during the transition of literature from an amateur pastime to a profession, and offers a fascinating look at the pains, pleasures, and accomplishments of women's lives in the last century....

Title : Saint Foucault: Towards a Gay Hagiography
Author :
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ISBN : 9780195111279
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 256 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Saint Foucault: Towards a Gay Hagiography Reviews

  • simon
    2018-11-03 06:54

    i liked this book slightly more before i learned more about david halpern's current work. before i heard a story from my classmate about when he said that eve sedgwick, queen of queer theory, was "a straight woman who likes it up the ass" and didn't have a right to write queer scholarship. fucker.i learned more about foucault than i ever had before, which i appreciate. and halperin seems to be obsessed with ACT UP, though he completely erases the presence of dykes and other women in the movement, a practice he seems privy to in a large amount of his scholarship. he also writes about how foucault saw fist-fucking as queer liberation, which i appreciate - though he does so from an outsider, rather than a participant.i'm trying to write this review about the book and not just about halperin, who recently was the keynote speaker at a conference my queer theory classmates put on at UW-Milwaukee. before they met him, they described him as a "bitchy old queen," and not in a good way. after he left, they just hated him because he was completely ungracious, unkind and misogynist.'hagiography' means to write the life of a saint, and halperin surely did this with his do-no-wrong praise for foucault and his intertwining of his life practices and his philosophy/scholarship. like halperin, i am dedicated to this model of life praxis, and i appreciate his defense of this model. but why such an ass hole?

  • Robert
    2018-10-17 09:11

    this is an important text on both an academic's love of foucault and foucault's articulation of 'friendship as a way of life' and what i would say, following foucault, a queer aesthetics-as-ethics of existence, as a way of stitching together a 'queer life,' which is also an artful, aesthetic life. this is not just a text on an important thinker (both foucault and halprin), but also an important text on the importance of thinking, writing, living, learning, and being-with/for others, other-wise.i decided to re-read this text while reading halprin's new text: How to Be Gay -- which is how one may variously become (which does not end) queer. indeed, being gay (or, better, queer) is NOT isomorphic with having same-sex eroticisms, desires, or performing acts.haprin is an important figure in the thinking of sexuality and gender -- for over 20+ years now.

  • Andrew Shaffer
    2018-10-27 06:45

    Overall, an excellent book. It’s divided into two main sections, preceded by a short introduction. The first section is on the queer politics practiced and advocated by Foucault, however much of it applies to the practice and theorization of queer politics in general. The second section largely concerns itself with the various biographies written about Foucault and, while enlightening, probably wouldn’t be of interest to a general audience.After reading the book, I have a much greater appreciate for Foucault’s work, and I feel I have a stronger understanding of his ideas. Only having been previously exposed to snippets of various books and articles by Foucault, I had a basic comprehension of his vocabulary and thought, however Halperin’s book helped me to dive much deeper into Foucault’s mind and to see his ideas in the greater context of his life.One of the strongest sections came from pages 29-35 as Halperin discussed various angles of the closet at some length. He does an excellent job of synthesizing various theorizations on the closet, as well as summarizing the common reactions to the closet. The other section worth reading on its own comes on page 62, when Halperin defines the positionality of the queer and defines it in opposition to homosexuality or sexuality in general.The book is largely a response to critics of Foucault's life (his sexual practices, in particular), and some of the author's references are difficult to follow for those who have not kept up with these critiques, however the book will be of interest to anyone concerned about the marginalization of those who practice non-normative sexual practices.

  • Marcello
    2018-11-05 13:03

    Saint Foucault is the best book in order to understand the main aspects of the queer discourse. I read for the first time Saint Foucault when I tried to figure out the true meaning of the queer theory in opposition to the so called "gay and lesbian tradition". David Halperin actually read Foucault with passion, and his personal feeling characterizes every single line of the first essay. The presence and the influence of Foucault in every single shape of the queer studies can be easily discovered in every single author. But, as it seems, Halperin is the only scholar who actually tried to explain why and when Foucalt became so important for the new generation of theorists. This book makes you look at the lgbt politics in a completely different way. I honestly gave up reading the second chapter of the book, based on the biographies written on Foucault. The second chapter sounds a bit boring, the language is completely different compared to the way Halperin explains Foucault in the first section. Way less enjoyable.

  • Tim
    2018-10-19 05:54

    I've never read any actual Foucault, so I appreciated this brief and entertaining intro to both his ideas and (more importantly) his relevance. Halperin makes a good case for why Foucault's ideas are actually interesting, subversive, and why queer activists like ACT-UP have adopted him as their patron saint. Plus it is an enjoyable read, often funny, sarcastic, and never (too) inscrutable.

  • *heartrl*
    2018-11-10 07:14

    Slugged through this one. The first essay brings up some great points about queer living, thought and theory and enjoyed it much more than the second essay which I completely disagree with. Halperin uses Foucault’s theory of ‘Truth’ as power to make a statement for why artists and thinkers should not have to come out because that knowledge is then used to evaluate their ideas and creations. I couldn’t disagree more. The reason that it is important for people in power positions to be out of the closet is exactly this reason- so that ‘truth’ can not be used as power on people who are not in power positions. Halperin and Foucault are both making these statements for privileged positions. I also found the language of the book tiring. Halperin’s writing is showy and pretentious in places and over my head in other. I did find a lot interesting and useful thoughts in the first essay especially and I’m glad I’ve read the book. It helps remind me of all the different lenses we see the world through and how there can be a multitude of ways to view the world and one’s life. It’s nice to read queer thought even when I disagree with it.

  • Anthony
    2018-10-30 04:58

    I'll call it a good primer to Foucault's legacy and a vital companion to The History of Sexuality 1: An Introduction for gay guys. Otherwise, despite its lucidity it doesn't have a lot of punch taken outside of its original social context, that is, when it is read by those other than the contingent of liberal academic assholes who saw fit to piss on Foucault's freshly erected mausoleum.

  • Spicy T AKA Mr. Tea
    2018-11-01 12:48

    I picked this up a few months ago and got really engaged with it. I then left it at my parents house. Found it and finished it. It is two essays, the first looking at the politics of Foucault's identidty related to his writing, activism, and sexuality. Halperin is really engaging and the essay went really quickly. The second essay is criticism of biographers of Foucault's who wrote in the authoritative voice circumscribing and controlling who Foucault was and what he did in complete opposition to the way he lived his life. Sharp, fierce, fun, and a pleasure to read, I do recommend.

  • Lauren
    2018-10-29 11:55

    If you want to read part of the book, I recommend the first major chapter. Called "The Queer Politics of Michel Foucault," it looks at the relevance of Foucault and his writings for queer folks, particular ACT UP activists in the 90s. The book feels relevant, though the writing itself is sometimes a bit wandering.

  • Eamon
    2018-11-15 06:58

    I was really looking forward to this book and it turned out to be a pretty bland introduction to queer theory and Foucault. Halperin is a better scholar and Foucault canonization is a better subject than this book suggests

  • X108x
    2018-11-17 09:09

    what a tool.

  • ael
    2018-10-26 13:06

    So much better than I expected!

  • S.
    2018-11-01 06:46

    Good...sometimes wrong, but good.