Thanks, and Here’s to You, Michel.

I’d like to thank those of you who have taken the time to read the published stories and essays I’ve posted. I believe writing has always been an interactive activity, even long before the advent of the Internet. Writers need to have a sense of an audience as much as any actor or any other figure who appears before the public. The writing itself takes place in solitude, sometimes debilitating solitude. But the object is always to make a connection. I don’t see any essential difference between writing a story or an essay and buttonholing someone on the street to let them know what you think about the high prices in the local grocery store or to tell them about an accident you just witnessed.

Good writing gets into something deeper, of course. But as a writer you don’t have control over that. Your job is to tell the story or share your thoughts. If the result of that is something that moves the reader or makes them think about something in a different way, all to the good. Writers are storytellers, and even an essay is a kind of story.

I’ve added a new essay, “An Archeology of Thought.” It’s my musings on the work of Michel Foucault. It makes no pretense to saying anything particularly profound about Foucault’s writings. Rather, it’s more in the way of an account of the excitement his books have given me, with an attempt at an explanation why someone as deep and frequently difficult as he is should have reached me with such profound impact. If there are any Foucault fans among you, I’d be delighted to know how much of what I recount in this essay matches your own experience.

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About Thomas J. Hubschman

Thomas J. Hubschman is the author of Look at Me Now, My Bess, Song of the Mockingbird, Billy Boy, Father Walther’s Temptation, The Jew’s Wife & Other Stories and three science fiction novels. His work has appeared in New York Press, The Antigonish Review, Eclectica, The Blue Moon Review and many other publications. Two of his short stories were broadcast on the BBC World Service.

Posted on December 15, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Thank you for your wonderfully written essay on Foucault. II should ask you: who is/was the intended audience for that piece ? I am thinking it must not be intended for people who have studied Foucault’s work. In that regard, it is good of you to introduce Foucault to your readers. I enjoyed your writing style and the various questions that you posed. I find it somewhat disappointing that you did not go into Foucault’s analysis of power and power relations, amongst other things. If I understand Foucault correctly, a history of values is a history of dominance and power relations between the social forces at a given time. The implications of Foucault’s work on studies of power, politics, social control, & social and cultural theory etc. are great. Your essay appears to me to be a de-politicized account of Foucault’s work and is contrary to my own experience of reading Foucault. Since you wrote in your blog that writing is ” an interactive activity”, I hope you don’t mind this one reader’s comment & questions. I do understand your essay is , as you said, an “account of the excitement his books have given” you, but I am just curious: do the political aspects of Foucault’s writing not excite you or is there a reason for your taking the neutral stance in the essay ? or have I simply totally missed the intent and meaning behind your essay ? Thanks.

  2. I am indeed taken with Foucault’s analysis of power relations, though I’m clearly not as far along as you in understanding him fully. My purpose, as you divined, was to introduce him to an audience which may not have had much to do with him and to share my enthusiasm for his “archeology” of the science, as we would call it, of the pre-Enlightment versus what came after.

    Thanks very much for your comment.

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