Nonfiction: Foucault on Film and Healing Through Horses | Xpress Reviews

Week ending June 15, 2018

Foucault, Michel & others. Foucault at the Movies. Columbia Univ. Aug. 2018. 256p. tr. from French by Clare O’Farrell. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780231167062. $75; pap. ISBN 9780231167079. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780231547833. FILM
This slim but dense collection of writing, translated by O’Farrell (Foucault: Historian or Philosopher?), compiles the thoughts of late French philosopher and historian Foucault (The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences) on the intersection of film, memory, sexuality, aesthetics, and other weighty subjects common to 20th-century philosophy. The first half of the book features essays by fellow French academics Dork Zabunyan and Patrice Maniglier on the historical, philosophical, and metaphysical dimensions of Foucault’s encounters with film. The second half is composed of works from Foucault himself—reviews and transcripts of dialogs with critics, artists, and other theorists—and an appendix of films that were shown in a series that originally accompanied the book. It’s highly doubtful that general readers—really, anyone outside of college philosophy departments—will be inclined to subject themselves to opaque ruminations on obscure films and filmmakers by a deceased if influential academic.
Verdict Fans of Foucault and libraries with robust philosophy sections might find value in a compact one-volume collection that makes Foucault’s film-related works accessible to English speakers.—Chad Comello, Morton Grove P.L., IL

Kane, Donna. Summer of the Horse. Lost Moose: Harbour. Jul. 2018. 224p. photos. bibliog. ISBN 9781550178197. pap. $19.95; ebk. ISBN 9781550178203. MEMOIR
Canadian poet Kane (Erratic) presents her first prose offering, a book that is part memoir, part love letter to the Canadian wilderness and the people and animals that venture into it. Having fallen in love with a conservationist and expedition leader, Kane uses her experiences on packhorse treks in British Columbia’s Muskwa-Kechika region to reflect on the dissolution of her 25-year marriage and her struggle to find a niche for herself in a new life with a conservationist and wilderness guide. In describing her efforts to tie diamond hitch knots, pack up camps, and endure her new lover’s extended absences, Kane reflects on her discovery of an inner strength and skills and finds parallels with her own healing process while caring for an injured horse. Kane’s poetic voice shines in her prose as she has a gift for evocative phrases. Yet despite the recurring theme of healing, the book’s chapters read more like individual essays and seem somewhat disjointed.
Verdict Nonetheless, conservationists, horse enthusiasts, and individuals dealing with similar life changes may find value in Kane’s journey of self-discovery.—Sara Shreve, Newton, KS

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