For Foucault, religion is distinguished by how it inscribes language on bodies.
Reading takes time. Its passing often leaves traces—in marginal scribbles, in typed outlines, in proud commentaries on collected works. Reading, no matter how cumulative, occupies different times. A reader moves through texts in segments of bodily life. Reading falls among other episodes—accomplishments, boredoms, traumas. It calls on other readings already done or set aside.
I began to read books by Foucault more than thirty-five years ago. I started to record my reading of Foucault on a warm Cambridge Saturday in June 2011 and finished that recording about two years later in San Francisco. The traces would have been different if I had recorded them over another interval. Before writing down this record of a reading, I “came out” as a gay man, fell away from Christian community, and returned to it. I spent most sunsets of a July watching fog over Kite Hill in San Francisco. I held men as they died from the “complications” of the unnamable virus that killed Foucault. I lived beyond the age at which he died.