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Letter signed by Michel Foucault (1973)

Letter signed by Michel Foucault (1973)

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In 1973, the great French intellectual Michel Foucault asked for more transparency and ethics from the director of a Brazilian newspaper.

  • Letter signed by Michel Foucault to the director of a newspaper.
  • One page.
  • In French.
  • 21 cm x 29.7 cm.
  • Paris, June 3, 1973.
  • Good state.
  • Unique piece.

Portuguese translation

Mr. Director,

In the issue of Manchette on June 16th, you were kind enough to publish an interview I had given in Belo Horizonte. On that occasion, I answered the questions, all very interesting, asked by a group of journalists, who came on behalf of different newspapers. There was, therefore, no exclusivity for anyone. Only a misunderstanding could have caused this interview to appear in your newspaper with the mention Exclusive. I would be grateful if you could publish a correction in this regard (…)

Michel Foucault was a French philosopher, historian of ideas, social theorist and literary critic, whose works influenced several fields of knowledge, including sociology, critical theory, literary theory and cultural studies. He is best known for his studies of power and knowledge, and for his work on the relationship between power, knowledge and social practices in institutions such as hospitals, prisons and schools. Foucault challenged the way society and social scientists understood power, arguing that it is not only repressive but also productive, disseminated across all social layers and not just centralized in institutions or authority figures.

Foucault visited Brazil several times, mainly during the 1960s and 1970s. During these visits, he established important connections with Brazilian intellectuals and participated in debates and conferences, profoundly influencing the field of human sciences in the country. His thoughts and theories were widely discussed and adopted in Brazilian universities, especially impacting areas such as criminology, mental health and education. These interactions contributed to a productive dialogue between European thought and the Brazilian sociopolitical context, strengthening the presence of Foucault's ideas in Brazil and consolidating his intellectual legacy in the country.

The letter teaches us that Michel Foucault valued transparency, ethics and precision in communication, demonstrating a deep respect for truth and collaborative work. Also interesting is the heading “Collège de France”, the prestigious teaching and research institution in Paris. Professors at the Collège de France are highly renowned academics, experts in their fields, who are invited to occupy temporary or permanent chairs at the institution. Among the famous professors who have taught at the Collège de France are intellectuals such as Michel Foucault, Pierre Bourdieu, Roland Barthes and Claude Lévi-Strauss. And finally, obviously, the intellectual's signature, which is quite rare.

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