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“In an Artist’s Studio” by Christina Rossetti as Seeing Without Seeing: Girard, Heidegger, Scotus and Marion
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9530-555X
2019 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

“In an Artist’s Studio” is a Victorian poem that has kept its affective and cognitive brilliance for more than a century. This paper claims that the perennial qualities of the poem partly have to do with the complexity of seeing that it makes manifest. On a superficial level, the poem illustrates the male artist’s predatory gaze appropriating the female figure, in other words, acting as the subject that cannot properly see the Other. This is however problematized by the fact that we have a witness in the studio who comments on what s/he sees. According to Girard’s logic of the contagious mimetic desire, the witness ought to desire the object too. There is certainly a sense of desire involved but it is partly overruled by the word, the sign, language, that makes seeing possible. Drawing on Heidegger and Scotus, the argument will show that the disclosure of the world, the woman or the poem is always already “worded”. It is worded and worlded in the same stroke. The whole of being is reliant upon a primordial, inner word, a verbum interius. In addition to this, a requirement for an empathic seeing is the accompanying affectivity of love with a minimum degree of desire. Jean-Luc Marion’s philosophy on love and the erotic helps illustrate how love holds the poem together. On a metaphorical and allegorical level, the Petrarchan sonnet intimates the agape of the Christian theological tradition.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-170890OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-170890DiVA, id: diva2:1338388
Conference
Colloquium on Violence and Religion, “Imagining the Other: Theo-Political Challenges in an Age of Migration”, Innsbruck, Austria, July 10-13, 2019
Note

Paper not orally presented, but published on the conference homepage.

Available from: 2019-07-22 Created: 2019-07-22 Last updated: 2019-12-04Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf