Downcast Eyes: The Denigration of Vision in Twentieth-Century French Thought

By Martin Jay

Long thought of "the noblest of the senses," imaginative and prescient has more and more come below serious scrutiny by means of quite a lot of thinkers who query its dominance in Western tradition. those critics of imaginative and prescient, in particular popular in twentieth-century France, have challenged its allegedly better means to supply entry to the realm. they've got additionally criticized its meant complicity with political and social oppression in the course of the promulgation of spectacle and surveillance.

Martin Jay turns to this discourse surrounding imaginative and prescient and explores its frequently contradictory implications within the paintings of such influential figures as Jean-Paul Sartre, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Michel Foucault, Jacques Lacan, Louis Althusser, man Debord, Luce Irigaray, Emmanuel Levinas, and Jacques Derrida. Jay starts off with a dialogue of the idea of imaginative and prescient from Plato to Descartes, then considers its position within the French Enlightenment sooner than turning to its prestige within the tradition of modernity. From attention of French Impressionism to research of Georges Bataille and the Surrealists, Roland Barthes's writings on images, and the movie idea of Christian Metz, Jay presents lucid and fair-minded money owed of thinkers and concepts widely recognized for his or her difficulty.

His ebook examines the myriad hyperlinks among the interrogation of imaginative and prescient and the pervasive antihumanist, antimodernist, and counter-enlightenment tenor of a lot contemporary French suggestion. Refusing, besides the fact that, to protect the dominant visible order, he calls as a substitute for a plurality of "scopic regimes." absolute to generate controversy and dialogue in the course of the humanities and social sciences, Downcast Eyes will consolidate Jay's popularity as certainly one of ultra-modern most popular cultural and highbrow historians.

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Ninety eight. in terms of Burke, the elegant was once in particular linked to phrases and sweetness with pictures. See the dialogue in W. J. T. Mitchell, Iconology: picture, textual content, Ideology (Chicago, 1987), chap. five. DIALECTIC OF ENLIGHTENMENT 107 to the day, Novalis's Hymns to the evening being just one of many conventional examples. 88 certainly, as soon as the Romantics jettisoned Locke's epistemology and the metaphor of the brain because the reflect of nature, as soon as their preliminary enthusiasm for the progressive "dawn" had waned, they can converse, as William Wordsworth did within the Prelude, of "the physically eye, in each degree of existence the main despotic of the senses.

I. identify. B2424. P45]39 1993 194--dc20 93-347 CIP published within the country 12 eleven 10 09 08 14 thirteen 12 eleven 10 nine The paper utilized in this e-book meets the minimal specifications of ANSIINISO Z39. 48-1992 (R 1997) (Permanence o/Paper). S For Beth Contents lX 1 21 Acknowledgments advent bankruptcy ONE: The Noblest of the Senses: imaginative and prescient from Plato to Descartes eighty three 149 bankruptcy : Dialectic of EnLIGHTenment bankruptcy 3: The main issue of the Ancien Scopic Regime: From the Impressionists to Bergson 211 bankruptcy 4: The Disenchantment of the attention: Bataille and the Surrealists 263 bankruptcy 5: Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, and the hunt for a brand new Ontology of Sight 329 bankruptcy SIX: Lacan, Althusser, and the Specular topic of Ideology 381 bankruptcy SEVEN: From the Empire of the Gaze to the Society of the Spectacle: Foucault and Debord 435 bankruptcy 8: The digital camera as souvenir Mori: Barthes, Metz, and the Cahiers du Cinema 493 bankruptcy 9: "Phallogocularcentrism": Derrida and lrigaray 543 bankruptcy TEN: The Ethics of Blindness and the Postmodern chic: Levinas and Lyotard 587 end 595 Index Vll Acknowledgments Registering the various acts of generosity that made this e-book attainable is either a delightful and depression job.

Her booklet as an entire is worried with the denarrativization of portray throughout the Renaissance and the advanced go back of narrative in post-abstract twentieth-century portray. For an engaging account of the resistance to complete denarrativization within the portray of Duccio, see Geoffrey Hawthorn, believable Worlds: hazard and figuring out in historical past and the Social Sciences (Cambridge, 1991), chap. four. fifty two THE NOBLEST OF THE SENSES developed through the years than the everlasting box of target procedures.

THE problem OF THE ANCIEN SCOPIC REGIME 171 the perceived shades in a piece of visible art??! Is there a modernist model of the favourite stress among poetry written for the ear at the poet's "Aeolian harp" and poetry written for the attention throughout the "prism" of his or her mind's eye? seventy two what's the position of specular, concave, or anamorphic mirroring in literary texts, particularly after the mise en abyme grew to become a self-conscious staple of modernist reflexivity? seventy three Are there literary parallels to modernist pursuits within the visible arts corresponding to Impressionism and Cubism?

Saint Augustine, Confessions, chap. 35. forty. Jacques Ellul, The Humiliation of the notice, trans. Joyce major Hanks (Grand Rapids, Mich. , 1985). advent thirteen o Ellul's animus opposed to imaginative and prescient can't, notwithstanding, be understood exclusively within the context of the well-known culture of non secular iconophobia, for it attracts besides on a wider antivisual discourse that extends past the bounds of spiritual idea. That discourse, i am hoping to illustrate, is a pervasive yet mostly overlooked phenomenon of twentiethcentury Western inspiration.

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