I, Pierre Riviere, Having Slaughtered My Mother, My Sister and My Brother A Case of Parricide in the 19th Century

ISBN-10: 0803268572
ISBN-13: 9780803268579
Edition: Reprint 
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Description: To free his father and himself from his mother's tyranny, Pierre Rivière decided to kill her. On June 3,1835, he went inside his small Normandy house with a pruning hook and cut to death his mother, his eighteen-year-old sister, and his  More...

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Book details

List price: $20.00
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Publication date: 12/1/1982
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 288
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.682
Language: English

To free his father and himself from his mother's tyranny, Pierre Rivière decided to kill her. On June 3,1835, he went inside his small Normandy house with a pruning hook and cut to death his mother, his eighteen-year-old sister, and his seven-year-old brother. Then, in jail, he wrote a memoir to justify the whole gruesome tale. Michel Foucault, author ofMadness and Civilization and Discipline and Punish, collected the relevant documents of the case, including medical and legal testimony, police records. and Rivière's memoir. The Rivière case, he points out, occurred at a time when many professions were contending for status and power. Medical authority was challenging law, branches of government were vying. Foucault's reconstruction of the case is a brilliant exploration of the roots of our contemporary views of madness, justice, and crime.

Michel Foucault was born on October 15, 1926, in Poitiers, France, and was educated at the Sorbonne, in Paris. He taught at colleges all across Europe, including the Universities of Lill, Uppsala, Hamburg, and Warsaw, before returning to France. There he taught at the University of Paris and the College of France, where he served as the chairman of History of Systems of Thought until his death. Regarded as one of the great French thinkers of the twentieth century, Foucault's interest was in the human sciences, areas such as psychiatry, language, literature, and intellectual history. He made significant contributions not just to the fields themselves, but to the way these areas are studied, and is particularly known for his work on the development of twentieth-century attitudes toward knowledge, sexuality, illness, and madness. Foucault's initial study of these subjects used an archaeological method, which involved sifting through seemingly unrelated scholarly minutia of a certain time period in order to reconstruct, analyze, and classify the age according to the types of knowledge that were possible during that time. This approach was used in Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason, for which Foucault received a medal from France's Center of Scientific Research in 1961, The Birth of the Clinic, The Order of Things, and The Archaeology of Knowledge. Foucault also wrote Discipline and Punishment: The Birth of the Prison, a study of the ways that society's views of crime and punishment have developed, and The History of Sexuality, which was intended to be a six-volume series. Before he could begin the final two volumes, however, Foucault died of a neurological disorder in 1984.

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