What does it mean to write "This is not a pipe" across a bluntly literal painting of a pipe? René Magritte's famous canvas provides the starting point for a delightful homage by French philosopher and historian Michel Foucault. Much better known for his incisive and mordant explorations of power and social exclusion, Foucault here assumes a more playful stance. By exploring the nuances and ambiguities of Magritte's visual critique of language, he finds the painter less removed than previously thought from the pioneers of modern abstraction.
This Is Not a Pipe 25th Anniversary Edition
About the Book
"This essay not only proposes a new understanding of Magritte; it also constitutes a perfect illustration and introduction to the thought of the philosopher himself, France's great wizard of paradox."—New York Review of Books
"Magritte's respectful fan letters to Mr. Foucault, which are included in this volume, the useful introduction and splendid translation by James Harkness and the handy black-and-white reproductions of many of Magritte's works combine to make this a document of extraordinary interest."—New York Times
"Foucault poses major questions about pictorial reference, and his original and novel account is worth arguing with."—Leonardo