Vision and Textuality

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Overview

The influence of contemporary literary theory on art history is increasingly evident, but there is little or no agreement about the nature and consequences of this intersection of the visual and the textual. Examining both the distinctness and the community of each, this anthology brings together original pieces that address the emergent terms and practices of contemporary art history. The editors' introduction discusses the relation between vision and textuality within various contexts. Providing a brief history of mimesis, they go on to examine the relevance of aesthetics, the current concern with modernism and postmodernism, and the possible development of new disciplinary formations in the humanities. The essays that follow are grouped around questions about the discipline of art history, the implications of semiotics, the emergence of a new cultural history of art, and the impact of psychoanalysis. Each section is preceded by a short introduction that works both to situate the essays that follow and further open the questions at stake in them. The objects under discussion range from the Danae to Cafe Deutschland, from Vauxhall Gardens to Max Ernst, and from the Imagines of Philostratus to William Godwin's Caleb Williams.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Melville and Readings have done a superb job, not only in their choice of essays, but in their elaborate and highly ambitious introduction. It is the best assessment that I know of the current state of contemporary art history and criticism, the most subtle analysis of the theoretical alternatives open to contemporary and future work in these disciplines.”—Keith Moxey, Barnard College and Columbia University
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822316442
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books
  • Publication date: 7/28/1995
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 1.08 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Melville is Associate Professor of History of Art at Ohio State University.

Bill Readings was Associate Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Montréal at the time of his death in 1994.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgements
Notes on Contributors
1 General Introduction 3
2 Basic Concepts. Of Art History 31
3 Beholding Art History: Vision, Place and Power 38
4 Past Looking 67
5 A Discourse (With Shape of Reason Missing) 90
6 The Aesthetics of Post-History: A German Perspective 115
7 How Obvious is Art? Kitsch and the Semiotician 143
8 Reading the Gaze: The Construction of Gender in 'Rembrandt' 147
9 Philostratus and the Imaginary Museum 174
10 Topic and Figures of Enunciation: It is Myself that I Paint 195
11 Armour Fou 215
12 The Pen and the Eye: The Politics of the Gazing Body 251
13 Impersonal Violence: The Penetrating Gaze and the Field of Narration in Caleb Williams 256
14 The Visibility of Visuality: Vauxhall Gardens and the Siting of the Viewer 282
15 B/G 296
16 Vision Procured 317
17 In the Master's Bedroom 326
18 Photo-unrealism: The Contribution of the Camera to the Crisis of Ocularcentrism 344
19 Chance Encounters: Flaneur and Detraquee in Breton's Nadja 361
Index 373
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