The Picture as Spectre in Diderot, Proust, and Deleuze

Thomas Baldwin

Legenda (General Series)

Legenda

4 February 2011  •  144pp

ISBN: 978-1-907625-03-9 (hardback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85

ISBN: 978-1-351193-23-8 (Taylor & Francis ebook)

FrenchPhilosophy


The possibility of ekphrasis — the verbal representation of visual imagery — is fundamental to all writing about art, be it art criticism, theory, or a passage in a novel. But there is no consensus concerning how such representation works. Some take it for granted that writing about art can result in a precise match between words and visual images. For others, ekphrasis amounts to a kind of virtuoso rivalry, in which the writer aims to outdo the pictorial image that is being described. In close readings of Diderot, Proust, and Deleuze, Baldwin shows how ekphrasis can create a ‘spectral’ effect. In other words, ekphrastic ‘spectres’ do not function as fully present ‘stand-ins’ for given works of art; nor can they be reduced to the status of passive or absent others. Baldwin also explores the ways in which the works of Diderot, Proust, and Deleuze inhabit each other as ghostly influences.

Thomas Baldwin teaches in the French Department at the University of Kent.

Reviews:

  • ‘Current critical debates on both spectrality and ekphrastic poetics are greatly enriched by Thomas Baldwin’s tightly woven and theoretically intricate study.’ — Margaret Topping, French Studies 67.1 (January 2013), 125

Bibliography entry:

Baldwin, Thomas, The Picture as Spectre in Diderot, Proust, and Deleuze (Cambridge: Legenda, 2011)

First footnote reference: 35 Thomas Baldwin, The Picture as Spectre in Diderot, Proust, and Deleuze (Cambridge: Legenda, 2011), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Baldwin, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Baldwin, Thomas. 2011. The Picture as Spectre in Diderot, Proust, and Deleuze (Cambridge: Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Baldwin 2011: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Baldwin 2011: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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