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Modernist Embodiment

Sisyphean Landscape Allegory in Cinema

David Melbye

, in terms of natural dimensions of the sort we have discussed. Recurrent experience leads to the formation of categories, which are experiential gestalts with those natural dimensions. Such gestalts define coherence in our experience. We understand our

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René Devisch

Diversely echoing Gail Weiss (1999) and Paul Stoller and Cheryll Olkes (1987), I hold that maleficent fetishes that sustain lethal sorcery shape and enact, yet pervert, their proper contours of embodied interactions and transactions. These interactions are being absorbed and consumed, if not devoured, by the sensual order of the uncanny and by forces of abjection. From my immersion in the life of the Yaka people in Kinshasa and south-west Congo, I am aiming at some endogenous understanding of how interacting bodies – or more precisely, intercorporeal awareness – can conform to (attune to) and become subordinated to (and implicated by) the frenzy of the transgressive and annihilating ‘forces’ mobilised by maleficent fetishes and lethal sorcerous violence. I contend that the mysterious field of sorcery and maleficent fetishes among the Yaka seems to foster among complicitous pairs some pre-reflective and interpersonal awareness of their body in the fold of (embracing) images, fantasies, experiential gestalts and desire of sorts. This primary entwinement of (inter)corporeal capacities, ‘forces’, cultural expectations and horizons of significance may help us to comprehend innovatively the sensual articulation of a genuine epistemology and a groping for moral economy in the very mood of transgression and perversion. This merging of desire, intercorporeality and sensing out of things paradoxically ties in with the pursuit as well as the obliteration of ethics. Such intermingling shows up in people’s manifold search to tame or, for other purposes, to stir up forms of unsettling, rupture, paradoxes, indeterminacy, categorial and ontological aporias, perversion or even destructive violence.

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'of all things a face appeared'

Reading Faces in Samuel Beckett's "That Time"

Joshua Powell

In his study of psychology in the 1930s, Samuel Beckett registered a number of ideas regarding the face. He took note of the Gestalt idea that the baby is born with the innate ability to distinguish the figure of a face from a blurry buzzing background. His interest was also piqued by the finding that one's perception of a facial expression might change depending on how much of the face is made visible. These ideas would influence his later work. Focusing on the short play That Time, this article looks at Beckett's dramatic presentation of a face alone in the dark. It compares Beckett's approach to face-reading with the study of the face that developed in twentieth-century experimental psychology. Beckett, I suggest, is working with the idea, common in experimental psychology, that facial expressions can be produced involuntarily and perceived effortlessly. However, he also draws attention to a more effortful mode of producing and perceiving faces. Finally, the article situates Beckett's portrayal of the face in relation to a modern culture that increasingly recognises – and celebrates – the face's unmanageability, but has not stopped attempting to manage the face.

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Back to the Future

Subjectivity and Anamorphosis in Richard I

Vance Adair

Internalising the gaze of the Other, in this case that of Lady Anne, Richard’s acquisition of a looking glass is accompanied by an idealisation of body image that is redolent of the ‘jubilation’ experienced by the subject of Lacan’s mirror stage. Briefly, in the mirror stage the ego is formed in terms of identification with one’s specular image, the infant who has not yet mastered the upright posture upon seeing himself in the mirror will ‘jubilantly assume’ the upright position (Lacan 1977, 2). The apparently ‘orthopaedic’ effect of captation by the mirror image would appear particularly apposite for a character that is frequently disposed to descanting upon on his own deformity. This transition from an uncoordinated body image, the corps morcele, to the Gestalt of bodily wholeness, however, is irreducible to a myth of origins. As Jane Gallop has argued, the mirror stage involves a temporal dialectic at once anticipatory and retroactive which is of paradigmatic significance for Lacan’s understanding of the relationship between subjectivity and the signifying chain

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Kathrin Fahlenbrach

This article discusses the ways sound design in film guides the emotional affect of both sound and pictures on the viewer. Following the theory of conceptual metaphors, the article proposes an approach to "audiovisual metaphors," analyzing emotional and embodied aspects of film sound. It states that pictures and sound have to share emotional and physical characteristics that can be merged by sound designers conceptually and metaphorically in order to improve the emotional and physical affects of a fictional character or object in a film. Thus it argues that the synchresis (audiovisual fusing) of pictures and sound is most effective when embodied image schemata are used by sound design that guide, on an unconscious level, our perception of film. In audiovisual metaphors, image schemata as "force" or "balance" are projected on sound and pictures that create an audiovisual and emotional gestalt of the objects. Using examples from Stanley Kubrick's The Shining and Francis Ford Coppola's Rumble Fish, the article shows how the emotional attributes of fictional character, spaces, and objects can be conceptualized metaphorically, via their very materiality, by sound design—attributes that are perceived prominently on a presymbolic and preconscious level by the viewers but that communicate complex cultural and narrative meanings.

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Jan Berting

of cultural history and the Gestalt theory in psychology, which emphasize the fact that the way we perceive an element in a configuration or Gestalt is determined by this Gestalt. In cultural anthropology we are often confronted with studies in which

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Jean Comaroff and John Comaroff

-possessed, thus to order hierarchies of power and value. The social and spatial gestalt of Western industrial society, with its nesting order of interdependent yet unequal domains—female:male, kinship:market, family: state, colony:metropole, in each case the

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What Would I Do with Lacan Today?

Thoughts on Sartre, Lacan, and Contemporary Psychoanalysis

Betty Cannon

by Gestalt therapy, body-oriented psychotherapy, and other experiential approaches. There is also an influence from humanistic psychology, especially the work of Carl Rogers. 2 There is very little interpretation involved in this approach. I agree

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Ritual Infrastructure

Roads to Certainty in Two Brazilian Religions

Inger Sjørslev

spiritual force, as in classical ideas about power in the marginal. In an infrastructural perspective, this is a ‘road’ to subjectivity that is ritually institutionalized, relying on the Orixas as conceptual gestalts, and forming subjects along the line

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Kathleen Lennon

imaginary nor one of pure negation. Imaginary personages are gestalts of myself and others interwoven with gestalts of the material and social world, which are motivated by them, a manifestation of the multiple possibilities of the real. Merleau