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The famous 'I think' sketch from Charles Darwin's famous red notebook 'B' (mid 1837, p. 36). This drawing is rougher and more irregular than the final version shown in "On the Origin of Species" (1859). Historian Philipp Sarasin uses this image in his book Darwin und Foucault (2009, p. 38) to describe Foucault's conception of history and its roots in Darwinian evolutionary theory. However, this notion of the evolutionary tree underwent revision in Foucault's later thought. In his famous 1978–79 lectures on The Birth of Biopolitics at the Collège de France, he strongly opposed this idea when giving his analysis of the German neo-liberal state during the governments of Willy Brandt and Helmut Schmidt. Creating "a sort of genetic continuity or evolutionary impli12 For a detailed study of Darwinian thought in Foucault's work, see Philipp Sarasin: Darwin und Foucault: Genealogie und Geschichte im Zeitalter der Biologie, Frankfurt/M: Suhrkamp 2009. 13 Foucault: The Archaeology of Knowledge, p. 147. 

The famous 'I think' sketch from Charles Darwin's famous red notebook 'B' (mid 1837, p. 36). This drawing is rougher and more irregular than the final version shown in "On the Origin of Species" (1859). Historian Philipp Sarasin uses this image in his book Darwin und Foucault (2009, p. 38) to describe Foucault's conception of history and its roots in Darwinian evolutionary theory. However, this notion of the evolutionary tree underwent revision in Foucault's later thought. In his famous 1978–79 lectures on The Birth of Biopolitics at the Collège de France, he strongly opposed this idea when giving his analysis of the German neo-liberal state during the governments of Willy Brandt and Helmut Schmidt. Creating "a sort of genetic continuity or evolutionary impli12 For a detailed study of Darwinian thought in Foucault's work, see Philipp Sarasin: Darwin und Foucault: Genealogie und Geschichte im Zeitalter der Biologie, Frankfurt/M: Suhrkamp 2009. 13 Foucault: The Archaeology of Knowledge, p. 147. 

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This paper discusses Franco Moretti's concept of "distant reading" in the light of Foucauldian genealogy. It confronts Moretti's evolutionary understanding of literary history — as represented in his adoption of the figure of the Darwinian tree — with Foucault's interpretation of Darwin's evolutionary theory. With reference to Foucault's transition...

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