Download Body Work: Objects of Desire in Modern Narrative by Peter Brooks PDF

By Peter Brooks

ISBN-10: 0674077245

ISBN-13: 9780674077249

The need to grasp the physique is a robust dynamic of storytelling in all its types. Peter Brooks argues that glossy narrative is rationale on uncovering the physique with the intention to disclose a fact that needs to be written within the flesh. In a e-book that levels broadly via literature and portray, Brooks indicates how the mind's eye strives to deliver the physique into language and to put in writing tales at the physique.

From Rousseau, Balzac, Mary Shelley, and Flaubert, to George Eliot, Zola, Henry James, and Marguerite Duras, from Manet and Gauguin to Mapplethorpe, writers and artists have back in fascination to the physique, the inescapable different of the spirit. Brooks's deep knowing of psychoanalysis informs his demonstration of the way the "epistemophilic urge"--the wish to know-guides fictional plots and our interpreting of them.

it's the sexual physique that furnishes the construction blocks of symbolization, ultimately of language itself-which then takes us clear of the physique. but brain and language have to get better the physique, as an different realm that's fundamental to their very definition. Brooks exhibits how and why the feminine physique has turn into the sphere upon which the aspirations, anxieties, and contradictions of a complete society are performed out. And he indicates how writers and artists have present in the woman's physique the dynamic precept in their storytelling, its motor strength.

This significant booklet entertains and teaches: Brooks presumes no exact wisdom at the a part of his readers. His account proceeds chronologically from Rousseau within the eighteenth century ahead to modern artists and writers. physique paintings provides us a suite of analytical instruments and ideas-primarily from psychoanalysis, narrative and movie reports, and feminist theory-that allow us to learn smooth narrative afresh.

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Extra info for Body Work: Objects of Desire in Modern Narrative

Sample text

29 Recourse to Freud might suggest why direct confrontation of the female sex is, to the male spectator, fraught with desire, fear, and a sense of the uncanny. NARRATIVE AND THE BODY 17 18 The nature of women's genitalia is effaced, even uncertain, in the airbrushed nude. One finds here a strange, and long perpetuated, attenuation of female anatomy. By the time of the modern-by which I mean, again, sometime beyond the middle of the eighteenth century-the female nude is well established as the erotic object of specifically gendered spectatorship, and representation of the nude has increasingly taken on characteristics of an invasion of privacy, as women are seen in moments of intimacy, at the bath or toilette, or exposed on a bed.

This privacy, as Ian Watt has shown in The Rise of the Novel, belongs to a conception of upper- and middle-class leisure and family life that emerged, first in England, and then in France, starting sometime in the seventeenth century, and developed rapidly in the eighteenth century. The notion of privacy is tied to the rise of the modern city, particularly the extension of its residential quarters and suburbs. Privacy is reflected, for instance, in domestic architecture, in the shift from the communal living, eating, and sleeping spaces of the medieval house to the well-demarcated private apartments, boudoirs, "closets," and alcoves of eighteenth-century upper- and middle-class housing.

In popular culture, the development of technologies of spectacle as varied as the department store display window and photography has tended to produce a commodification of the nude-almost always female-that continues to dominate both entertainment and the selling of nearly everything produced in late capitalist societies. Representation of the nude in the plastic and pictorial arts offers the clearest example of the constitution of modern canons of vision and desire; literature appears to follow a similar, if more tortuous, route.

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Body Work: Objects of Desire in Modern Narrative by Peter Brooks

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