Turn me over, brothers, I am done enough on this side

Quote of the Day: Foucault on Transgression


Marquis de Sade, Justine Frontispiece

Marquis de Sade: Justine, or the Misfortunes of Virtue. Frontispiece by Philippe Chéry and title page of the first edition. [Credit: Ωριγένης – Greek wikipedia, Public Domain]

Transgression is an action which involves the limit, that narrow zone of a line where it displays the flash of its passage, but perhaps also its entire trajectory, even its origin; it is likely that transgression has its entire space in the line it crosses. The play of limits and transgression incessantly crosses and recrosses a line which closes up behind it in a wave of extremely short duration, and thus it is made to return once more right to the horizon of the uncrossable…. Transgression, then, is not related to the limit as black to white, the prohibited to the lawful, the outside to the inside, or as the open area of a building to its enclosed spaces. Rather, their relationship takes the form of a spiral which no simple infraction can exhaust.

–Michel Foucault. Language, Counter-Memory, Practice: Selected Essays and Interviews by Michel Foucault. Ed. Donald F. Bouchard. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1977. (pp. 34-35)

Moses Striking the Rock in Horeb

Moses Striking the Rock in Horeb; Nikolaas Henneman (British, 1813 – 1893); London, England; 1847; Salted paper print.  [Credit: J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles]







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Categorised in: books / authors, diversion of the day

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