Today I’m reading an interview with Michel Foucault from Le Monde in 1980, and I felt like this paragraph needs to be shared. It’s lovely, and it describes what I aspire to do as a critic.
I can’t help but dream about a kind of criticism that would try not to judge but to bring an oeuvre, a book, a sentence, an idea to life; it would light fires, watch the grass grow, listen to the wind, and catch the sea foam in the breeze and scatter it. It would multiply not judgements but signs of existence; it would summon them, drag them from their sleep. Perhaps it would invent them sometimes–all the better. All the better. Criticism that hands down sentences sends me to sleep; I’d like a criticism of scintillating leaps of the imagination. It would not be sovereign or dressed in red. It would bear the lightning of possible storms.
(from “The Masked Philosopher,” in Ethics: Subjectivity and Truth)