One of Foucault’s biographers and friends, Didier Eribon, has a new book out, an autobiography. Sounds interesting as described here. Since I spent 3 weeks near Reims this summer it’s fascinating to see that that is where Eribon’s family apparently comes from (it’s in the champagne region of France):
Blessé, or wounded, is how Didier Eribon, Foucault’s biographer, appears in his latest book, a memoir: Retour à Reims (Fayard, 2009, 250p).
While his father is institutionalized with advanced Alzheimer disease, then dies, Eribon, who had broken with his parents many years earlier, reconnects with his mother and reflects on his growing up and his family history. It’s a heart-rending story. The story of a progressive estrangement from his blue-collar family, his refusal to assume his very humble origins, while becoming the first member of his family to continue his studies beyond the legal age, and to attend university… In a very class-conscious France and era, he ends up being perceived by his parents as a class enemy. And simply stops seeing them and his brothers and sisters. This candid and lucid account forms the core of the book, and is worth reading.
[Avec] l’idée, en apparence évidente, que ma rupture totale avec ma famille pouvait s’expliquer par mon homosexualité, par l’homophobie foncière de mon père et celle du milieu dans lequel j’avais vécu, ne m’étais-je pas donné, en même temps – et aussi profondément vrai que cela ait pu être -, de nobles et incontestables raisons pour éviter de penser qu’il s’agissait tout autant d’une rupture de classe avec mon milieu d’origine?