Vollmann, Elliott, Foucault
I have been thinking a lot lately about the connections between Foucault’s and Vollmann’s works. Their kinship is immediately apparent. Vollmann has a massive multi-volume treatise on human violence; Foucault has a massive multi-volume treatise on human sexuality. Vollmann works with human sexuality constantly in his fiction and nonfiction; via Foucault’s investigations into power, especially in Discipline and Punish, Foucault works with human violence. Both authors refuse confinement to a single discipline; both are interested in what has been dubbed biopolitics. Vollmann’s Imperial and the newly translated The Birth of Biopolitics by Foucault put into stark relief the overlap in this interest.