Alessandro Fontana naive t March 25, 1939 into a family of the cultivated bourgeoisie of Veneto. Motherless at the age of four, he was raised first by his father and uncles, high school principal in Sacile, a small town in the Venetian countryside. After studying literature and philosophy at the University of Padua, where he maintains a dissertation studies the notion of myth, he went to France as an assistant to Italian to Montpellier, then quickly moved to Paris in the mid 1960, where it is for the most intellectually stimulating space.
He quickly became the player to Italian section of the Ecole Normale Sup??rieure de Saint-Cloud, and I? Be conferences and professor at the ENS de Fontenay-Saint-Cloud (following the last school in Lyon from 2001). From the 1960s until the 2000s, it will provide courses to generations of ENS and listeners that spot will be his until he retired in 2007, and he then continue as a guest professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Trento.
It is in this context that built gradually singular figure of a follower philosopher Foucault and Deleuze, fascinated by genealogy of psychoanalysis, putting this particular knowledge for a comprehensive study of the history of literature and Italian culture, with a preference for some of the “classics” which he began each time a radical rereading and still “critical” (Lorenzo de ‘Medici, Machiavelli, Guicciardini, Castiglione, Verri, Beccaria, Goldoni, Alfieri, Foscolo, Manzoni), in constant back and forth between the “big” authors of their culture of origin and the most current philosophical debates of his adopted culture. In this regard, the polymorphic work that led to the political and literary history of Venice as “civilization masks” and as “city found”, is probably the textual space of symbolic crossing of the two souls of his research and its tastes.
In Paris, he first attended the seminar Fran? Ois Furet the sixth section of the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (it is for this reason one of the co-authors of Books and society in eighteenth-century France , Paris, Mouton, 1965) and working with historians associated with the Annales school, notably Ruggero Romano from the late 1960s to early 1980s, combines several collective enterprises of the prestigious Einaudi of Turin, the Storia d’Italia in Enciclopedia (Articles Alessandro Fontana wrote on this occasion were collected in 1990 under the Police as the soul: voice for a genealogy of psychoanalysis).
A TURNING POINT IN HIS LIFE
In the early 1970s, meeting with Michel Foucault is a turning point in his life. He left the seminary Ferret for the eddy and quickly became one of the “smuggling” of Foucault’s thought in Italy: he helped me, Pierre Rivi??re and translated The Birth of the Clinic and the order of discourse Einaudi. It will also be at the origin of a collection of articles and speeches published by Einaudi eddy in 1977 under the title microphysics of power, a small book which became an impressive library: sold tens of thousands copies, it became one of the reference books for actors of Italian social movements of the late 1970s.
After the death of the philosopher, he was responsible for the publication of prices of Michel Foucault at the College of France. This is indeed the one who convinces the mid-1990s, legatees and family of the philosopher, who stated she did not want to see original texts published posthumous, not to consider these courses as unpublished. From 1997, he co-directs with Fran? Ois Ewald, the publication of the entire course of Michel Foucault at the Coll??ge de France, comments? Ing the course of 1976 must defend society, until the very recent government live, released last fall (Threshold-Gallimard, collection EHESS).
A LARGE PIECE
Alongside this work Foucault, Alessandro Fontana has actively participated in the creation, ENS Fontenay-Saint-Cloud, Research Centre on Italian political thought (CERPPI) in the early 1990s, a research center in which he has carried out and coordinated translations commented (including discourses on the first decade of Livy Machiavelli, published by Gallimard in 2004) and collective publications (Venice 1297-1797. Republic The Beaver, ENS Editions, 1997 , Venice and the French Revolution 470 comfortable dispatches of the Venetian ambassadors to the Doge 1786-1795, Mouthpieces Laffont, 1998?. History of the Republic of Venice, Pierre Daru Mouthpieces Laffont, 2004).
Death was brutally beaten in Paris, Sunday, February 17, 2013, while nearing completion of work requiring publication of Foucault’s lectures, his great piece, a work he has followed step by step, volume after volume , rereading each page and each note, maintaining long discussions with the leaders of each of the volumes. Teaching Alessandro Fontana was essential for generations of young ENS and its initiatives have had a major importance in the field of Foucault studies. But beyond that, it will leave to those who met one day or the other, the old National Library of Paris or instead of D? Thirty me, the memory of a fine scholar and a subtle commentator, a man of Socratic conversations, always ready to give this thing that is not learned, and yet is perhaps among the few that are worth: the desire to understand, the desire to know, widely advertise, thinking, the desire to “build” too.
Communication Alessandro Fontana on “Genealogy of political discourse,” November 12, 2001 at ENS-LSH Lyon.