Foucault Surveiller et punir cover

Foucault S+P Cover_Page_1   Foucault S+P Cover_Page_2

(Updated below.)

I’m in the process of scanning in the photos from the French edition of Surveiller et punir, from the French first edition (Gallimard, 1975).*

I never noticed before that the back cover text (basically what we’d put on the flyleaf of a hardback book, although this is a paperback) is initialed “M.F.” I don’t know if this text appears within the book itself (I suspect it doesn’t).

You can also see a publisher’s mark “75-11.” The 75 is presumably 75, as this book was first published in February 1975 according to the Defert chronology, and it was completed in August 1974. Or it could be something else entirely.

It would be nice to have a translation of the back cover of the book, which is otherwise one of those ephemeral texts. (The modern French edition omits a number of sentences, and is not–as far as I know–initialed.)

*My copy appears to be from a 1977 printing.

Update 2/8/14: Philippe Theophanidis has provided a prompt response to this request. My thanks to him for providing not only the English translation but a transcription of the back cover original French text. But his post also offers a useful discussion of specific words and phrases that present particular difficulties. These include “assujetissement” translated as “subjectification.” In the Essential Foucault, a translator’s note by James Faubion in Volume 3 (“Power”) indicates that whereas their earlier volumes had translated this as “subjectivation” (a very unusual word in English) they now wish to translate it as “subjugation” (see p. xlii). Between these three words are different emphases on passive and active subject-making. You are made into a subject, versus you co-constitute your subjectivity. The advantage of subjectification and even subjectivation (despite its unusual status) are that they permit the recognition of co-making the subject and even self-making; a concept you can find in Foucault’s interest in care of the self, ethics as practice, and technologies of the self.

2 responses to “Foucault Surveiller et punir cover

  1. Pingback: Michel Foucault’s ‘Surveiller et punir’: back cover text

  2. Pingback: Foucault’s back cover text for Surveiller et punir – scan, French, English translation | Progressive Geographies

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