Introduction: The Voice of Someone
It would be impossible to write this or any other book if God and the self were really dead; if the author were really absent from his work; if language were nothing but an alien circuit which each of us is condemned to repeat; if society were really irredeemable and man irreparably alienated from his world. In the absence of any human form of mind, in the absence of any possibility of truth, meaning or change, in the absence of all capacity to say what has not been said before and to add to the stock of our culture, there would be nothing worth saying, no one to say it, and no one to say it to. There would not even be any point in declaring that God and the self are dead, that language and culture are tiresomely repeated by every speaking and acting subject, and that man is alienated from himself, from his culture and from his social world.
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Notes and References
- 1.John Sturrock (ed.), Structuralism and Since: From Lévi-Strauss to Derrida (Oxford UP, 1979) p. 3.Google Scholar
- 2.Henri Lefebvre, Position: Contre les Technocrates (Paris: Gonthier, 1967) pp. 88–9. Lefebvre is less well known outside France than he deserves to be. He was a provocative and original thinker and a very important figure in Parisian intellectual life in the 1950s and 1960s. He also did more than anyone else to prepare the ground for the French students’ ‘revolution’ in 1968 and for the rise of the New Left.Google Scholar
- 5.Frédéric Bon and Michèl-Antoine Burnier, Les Nouveaux Intellectuels ( Paris: Cujas, 1966 ) p. 64.Google Scholar
- 6.Edward Said, The World, The Text and the Critic ( London: Faber & Faber, 1984 ) p. 147.Google Scholar
- 7.Barry Cooper, Michel Foucault: an introduction to the study of his thought ( New York: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1981 ) p. 1.Google Scholar