Until recently, there were only two texts by Foucault explicitly on Nietzsche.
1. ‘Nietzsche, Freud, Marx’, Cahiers de Royaumont, VI, 1967, pp. 183-200. (The note in Dits et écrits says this was from a symposium at Royaumont in July 1964.)
2. ‘Nietzsche, la génealogie, l’histoire’, in Hommage à Jean Hyppolite, Paris: PUF, 1971, pp. 145-72.
Both texts are reprinted in Dits et écritsand appear, among other places, in volume 2 of Essential Works. There is also the discussion of Nietzsche in the first of the ‘Truth and Juridical Forms’ lectures given in Rio in May 1973 (in Dits et écritsand Essential Works, Volume 3).
Now, with the publication and translation of Lectures on the Will to Know, we have the text of a lecture from April 1971, given at McGill University. This lecture is given as an appendix to the course from the Collège de France, and stands in place of missing material. Part of the lecture of 16th December 1970 and the whole of the 23rd December 1970 lecture were on Nietzsche and are missing from the manuscript. The course editor Daniel Defert thinks this is because the pages were removed to be used as the basis for a lecture elsewhere. But not presumably the McGill lecture, which he says is only identifiable because of an additional page at the top, summarising key themes, written on hotel notepaper.
In his editorial material, Defert notes that Foucault lectured on Nietzsche at the University of Vincennes in the winter of 1969-70; then at SUNY Buffalo in March 1970, and then at McGill in April 1971. (In Buffalo Foucault also lectured on de Sade, lectures that are now published in La grande étrangère, on ‘What is an Author?’ and “the search for the absolute in Bouvard and Pécuchet”). Defert suggests that the outcome of these Nietzsche lectures “will be the long article: ‘Nietzsche, Genealogy, History’” (LWK 264/268).
Winter 1969-70 is late 1969 and early 1970, but in Dits et écrits Defert notes that Foucault gave a course on ‘Nietzsche and Genealogy’ in February 1969 – the previous academic year (Vol I, p. 34). He also notes that the tribute to Hyppolite, at the École Normale Supérieure, was held on 19th January 1969. This led to the Hommage à Jean Hyppolite volume, of which Foucault wrote the foreword (Dits et écrits text 67), and contributed a chapter, ‘Nietzsche, Genealogy, History’ (text 84). The ‘foreword’ was originally published in Revue de métaphysique et de morale, Vol 74 No 2, 1969, pp. 131-6.
So, here are the three questions.
1. Did Foucault give two lecture courses at Vincennes, one in early 1969, and one in late 1969-early 70?
2. What was Foucault’s contribution to the 1969 Hyppolite tribute event? Was it ‘Nietzsche, Genealogy, History’, or the text that became the ‘foreword’, or something else?
3. For what lecture did Foucault remove the 16 and 23 December 1970 manuscript pagesfrom the Collège de France course?
With the first question, it’s possible that there was only one course, or that it was repeated. With the second question, if he gave a lecture on Nietzsche at the event, then it pre-dates other known lectures, with the exception of ‘Nietzsche, Freud, Marx’, and so wasn’t the outcome of those other lectures, but their predecessor. If it wasn’t ‘Nietzsche, Genealogy, History’ when was that text written? For the third question, on the basis of what we currently know, it’s unclear but the most likely candidate is the 21 May 1973 lecture in Rio – because the SUNY Buffalo lectures preceded the Collège de France course; while the McGill one appears to be different.
Here’s what it means in terms of the chronology:
19 January 1969, tribute to Hyppolite at the École Normale Supérieure
February 1969, lecture course on Nietzsche at University of Vincennes – unpublished
Winter 1969-70, lecture course on Nietzsche at University of Vincennes – unpublished
March 1970, lecture on Nietzsche at SUNY Buffalo – unpublished
16 Dec 1970, part of lecture on Nietzsche, Collège de France – removed from ms., now missing, presumed lost
23 Dec 1970 lecture on Nietzsche, Collège de France - removed from ms., now missing, presumed lost
April 1971, Lecture at McGill – ‘How to think the history of truth with Nietzsche without relying on truth’ (in Lectures on the Will to Know)
? 1971 ‘Nietzsche, Genealogy, History’ published in Hyppolite volume.
21 May 1973, ‘Truth and Juridical Forms’ lectures in Rio begin – the first lecture is very close to the McGill lecture of April 1971 (and to the Collège de France lectures from December 1970?).
Any additional information, or corrections, would be appreciated.