Very little is known about Foucault's personal life and we can only speculate about its relation to his work. Why do we need to? Much of Fouchault's existence was centred on writing. ‘Lives and works’ looks at what can be discovered about Foucault from his writing, rather than from anecdotes about his life, and in particular looks at Raymond Roussel, his only book-length literary study. Why did he choose to write about Roussel? Roussel was an experimental writer, diagnosed as having ‘transformed religious mania’, whose work was at odds even with the avant garde. Foucault was fascinated with Roussel's exclusion of human subjectivity.