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Word and Phantasm tn Western Culture
Giorgio Agamben
Translated by Ronald L. Martinez

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And here one must know that this term (stanza) has been chosen [or technical reasons exclusively, so that what contains the entire art of the canzone should be called stanza, that is, a capacious dwelling or receptacle for the entire craft. For just as the canzone is the container (literally lap or womb} of the entire thought, so the stanza enfolds its entire technique ... Dante, De vulgar! eloquentia II.9

The Appropriation of Unreality Mme Panckoucke. 3. The Noonday Demon 3 Melencolia I 11 Melancholic Eros 16 The Lost Object 19 The Phantasms of Eros 22 II. or. 8.Contents List of Illustrations Xl Notes and Acknowledgments Introduction xv xiii L The Phantasmsof Eros 1. Eros at the Mirror 11. Freud. 10. The Word and the Phantasm: The Theory of the Phantasm in the Love poetry of the Duecento 12. The Universal Exposition 36 Baudelaire. The T(lY Fairy S6 47 HI. or. or. The Absent Object 3J Marx. 2. 7. or. In the World of Odradek: The Work of Art Confronted with the Commodity 6. The Absolute Commodity 41 Beau Brummell. 5. Narcissus and Pygmalion 73 [3. Spiritus phantasticus 90 63 ix . or. 9. 4.

Rubens. fol. 13. fol. Spirits of Love 102 15. xi .x 0 CONTENTS 14. illustrations from Petites miseres de la vie humaine (The small miseries of human life). illustration from Un autre monde. 14. illustrations from Un autre monde (Another world). Pygmalion and the Image (Ms. Bibliotheque Nationale. Figure in miniature of an archaic Chinese tomb. Grandville. DUrer. 16. Douce 195. 387. 18. 149v). Grandville. Bodleian Library. The Perverse Image: Semiology from the Point of View of the Sphinx 17. Between Narcissus and Pygmalion 16. 10. Systeme de Fourier (The system of Fourier). 12595. The Lover at the Fountain of Narcissus (Ms.Nationalc. 62v). The Lover and the Image (Ms. 9. 11-12. 150r). ti:. Bodleian Library. fro 12595. Bibliotheque Nationale: 15. Oxford. The "Joy That Never Ends" 124 III Illustrations IV. The Barrier and the Fold 152 Index 159 1. Heraclitus as a Melancholic. in Ori Apollinis N iliaci . Oxford. 8. fol. Paris. Melencolia f.fol. Paris. from the Illustrated Catalogue of the Universal Exposition of London. Place settings and bookstore. Valencia. 185 L 6-7. De sacris Aegyptorium notis. 3. 12v). Beau Brummell. 4-5. Vespertilio (bat). Oedipus and the Sphinx 135 18. Madrid. Prado. The Proper and the Improper 141 19. Stories ofPygmalion (Ms. BibIiorheque. 1574. fo!' 146v). Narcissus (Ms. Douce 195. Grandville. foL 12v). 17. Paris. Pygmalion as Idolater (Ms. fro 12592. 2.

Delights. from Ori Apollinis Niliaci. 387. xiii . 1574." "phantasy. 387. He also thanks the conservators of the Bibliotheque Nationalein Paris and Professor Traini of the Caetani fund of the library of the AccademiaNazionale dei Lincei. De sacris Aegyptorum notis. What Is Grave. 77w Lover. The original nucleus of "In the World of Odradek" was published with the title "11 dandy e il feticcio" (The dandy and the fetish) in Ulise (February ] 972) . 1627). Catz. whose courtesy made it possible for him to pursue research in the library of the Institute. Valencia. Venus and the Image (Ms. 144r). Proteus. Notes and Acknowledgments to The essay "The Phantasms of Eros" appeared. Bibliotheque Nationale. 20. in a shorter version." detail from the left side of the central portal of the Cat hedra I 0 f N otre. "Fol amour as Idolatry. Louvre. fro 380. Proteus (Rotterdam. fol. the Image.25. Venus and the linage (Ms. Paris. Translations that are not documented to a published Bnglish-Ianguage source may be assumed to be the translator's own.xii U ILLUSTRATIONS 19. 21. Paris. and the Hose (Ms." and "phantastic" throughout the book indicate the technically precise use of these terms. 146v). from 1.Dame. fol. 24 . 23. Love Is the Father of Elegance. The University of Minnesota Press wishes to thank Michael Hardt for his invaluable assistance with the translation. Lovers as Idolaters. fol. 26. Catz. from J. 27. Valencia.. 22. The spellings "phantasm. Paris. birth salver attributed the Master of Saint Martin. Industrious Man and The Future Work. The author wishes to thank Frances Yates of the Warburg Institute of London. 135v). in Paragone (April 1974).

OTIC whose essential contentconsisted in precisely what it did not contain. or at least arguable positions and. a critical work worthy of the name was one that included its own negation. it signifies rather inquiry at the limits of knowledge about precisely that which can be neither posed nor grasped. Yet when." it must also remain open to the fascination of the "wide and storm-tossed sea" that draws "the sailor incessantly toward adventures he knows not how to refuse yet may never bring to an end. The corpus of the European critical essay in the present century is poor in examples of such a genre. But it is common to expect results of a work of criticism.Introduction It is possible. the term "criticism" appears in the vocabulary of Western philosophy. as they say. perhaps. If criticism. celui qui silence (he who silences).precisely when the arts xv . offers a glance of "truth's homeland" like "an island nature has enclosed within immutable boundaries. therefore. to accept that a novel may never actually recount the story it has promised to tell. which attempted through the project of a "universal progressive poetry" to abolish the distinction between poetry and the criticalphilological disciplines. A certain sign of the extinction of such critical thinking is that among those who today draw their authority more or less from the same tradition there are many who proclaim the creative character of criticism . working hypotheses. insofar as it traces the limits of truth." Thus for the lena group. it was.there is strictly speaking perhaps only a single book that deserves to be called critical: the Urspriing des dcutschea Trauerspiel (The origin of German tragic drama) of Walter Benjamin. Leaving aside a work that by its very absence is "more than complete" =-that of Felix Fcncon.

then the idea of a science without object is not a playful paradox. but knows the representation." Solger. Criticism is in fact nothing other than the process of its own ironic self-negation: precisely a "self-annihilating nothing. In our culture. knowledge (according to an antinomy that Aby Warburg diagnosed as the "schizophrenia" of Western culture) is divided between inspired-ecstatic and rational-conscious poles. precisely with the Schlegels. applied for the first time in antiquity to the Alexandrian poet-philologist Philitas. What is now more and more frequently concealed by the endless sharpening of knives on behalf of a methodnlogy with nothing left to cut-e-namely. the quest of criticisrn consists not in discovering its object but in assuring the conditions of its inaccessibility.'.xvi 0 INTRODUCTION INTRODUCTION [J xvii have for some time renounced all pretense at creativity. definition. the word is thus divided between a word that is unaware." misses the point: that the negativity of irony is not the provisional negative of dialectic. of fully possessing the object of knowledge (for the problem of knowledge is a problem of possession. For if in the human sciences subject and object necessarily become identified." because it safeguarded. renounce knowledge. as if there could be a royal road to truth that would avoid the problem of its representation. so to speak. the scission of the word is construed to mean that poetry possesses its object without knowing it while philosophy knows its object without possessing it. and poetry has developed neither a method nor self-consciousness. and every problem of possession is a problem of enjoyment. Hegel's objection. and if criticism today truly identifies with the work of art. In this way. among other things) arose from Romantic irony. opposes the enjoyment of what cannot be possessed and the possession of what cannot be enjoyed. European poets of the thirteenth century called the essential nucleus of their poetry the stanza. Navalis. But what is this object? To what enjoyment does poetry dispose its stanza as the receptive "womb" of its entire art? What does its trobar so tenaciously enclose? Access to what is problematic in these. this situation of criticism can be expressed in the formula according to which it neither represents nor knows. " but Of at all) insofar as criticism is also a form of negativity." According to a conception that is only im- plicitly contained in the Platonic critique of poetry. for whom poetry was above all problematic and who often hoped that it would be raised to the level of the mechane (mechanical instrument) of the ancients so that its procedures could be calculated and taught-s-and the dialogue that with its utterance engages a thinker who no longer designates his own meditation with the name of "philosophy" are invoked here to witness the urgency. Insofar as philosophy and poetry have passively accepted this division. From the outside. for that. The claim that a posture genuinely both philosophical and scientific (which bas provided an essential impetus to Indo-European linguistics. To appropriation without consciousness and to consciousness without enjoyment criticism." according to Hegel's prophetic. as if fallen from the sky. and it points. In the West. it is not because criticism itself is also' .--is instead reasserted by criticism as its own specific character.creative . The split between poetry and philosophy testifies to the impossibility. If the formula of "both poet and critic" (poietes llama kai kritikosr. the realization that the object to have been grasped has finally evaded knowledge . and other theoreticians of irony remained stalled at "absolute infinite negativity" and would have ended by making of the least artistic "the true principle of art. philosophy has failed to elaborate a proper Ianguage . that is. questions is barred by the forgetfulness of a scission that derives from the origin of our culture and that is usually accepted' as the most natural thing= that goes. a "capacious dwelling." What is secluded in the stanza of criticism is nothing. of rediscovering the unity of our own fragmented word. between the poetic word and the word of thought. may once again serve as an exemplary definition of the modern artist. It is situated where. on the near or till' side of that separation. without saying-s-when in fact it is the only thing truly worth interrogating. that "Mister Friedrich von Schlegel. The scission in question is that between poetry and philosophy. Criticism is horn at the moment when the scission reaches its extreme point. of language). The name of Hrilderlin-c of a poet. In the following pages." marketing "the unexpressed as the best thing. but that has in modern times acquired a hegemonic character. for Western culture. This split is so fundamental to our cultural tradition that Plato could already declare it "an ancient enmity. we will pursue a model of knowledge in operations such as the desperation of the melancholic or the l'erlellgl1l1ng (disavowal) of the fetishist: operations in which desire simultaneously denies and affirms its object. which the magic wand of sublation (Ardhehung) is always already in the act of transforming into a positive. criticism interprets the precept of Gargantua: "Science without consciousness is nothing hut the ruin of the soul.~but this nothing safeguards unappropriability as its most precious possession. just as every authentic act of philo~ophy is always directed toward joy. and enjoys the object of knowledge by representing it in beautiful form. if illwilled. for our culture. neither ever succeeding in wholly reducing the other. Like all authentic quests. the most profound project of criticism. that is. or a "god that self-destructs. but perhaps the most serious task that remains entrusted to thought in our time. and thus succeeds in entering into relation with something that otherwise it would . Secular enlightenment. remains to be questioned in terms of the prospects for giving a critical foundation to the human sciences. along with all the formal elements of the canzonc. in \VeRteTllculture. does not possess its object. Whatis thus overlooked is the fact that every authentic poetic project is directed toward knowledge. toward a unitary status for the utterance. but an absolute and irretrievable negativity that does not. receptacle. and a word that has all seriousness and consciousness for itself but does not enjoy its object because it does not know how to represent it. the word comes unglued from itself. thatjoi d'amor that these poets entrusted to poetry as its unique object. that is.

but perhaps only because the terms in question are themselves topoi. w~ll in a certain sense not be. insufficient attempt to follow in the wake of the project that Robert Musil entrusted to his unfinished novel: a project that. From this point of view. but as something more original than space. canso "En cest sonet coind' e leri." Only a philosophical topology. to which it is constrained by its critical project. Thus topological exploration is constantly oriented in the light of utopia. leading into the heart of what it keeps at a distance. a model of signifying that might escape the situation of signifier and signified that dominates Western reflection From this perspective. itself. The path of the dance in the labyrinth. a few years previously. is the spatial model symbolic of human culture and its royal road (hodos basileiei toward a goal for which only a detour is adequate. Thus thi. that of a refined love. to be sure. and for the attempt to discover. and whose only reality is the unreality of a word "qu'amas I'uura I e chatz la lebre ab 10 bou I e nadi contra suberna" [that heaps up the breeze / and hunts the hare with the ox I and swims against the tide (Amant i)aniel. a topology of joy (gaudil/m). This is the model that has provided the frame both for an examination of human objects transfigured by the commodity." \IV. accepts find repels. a [in' amors that at once enjoys and defers. is "nowhere". poetry constructed its own authority by becoming. and what is. of the stanza through which the human spirit spends to the impossible task of appropriating what must in every case remam unappropriable. interweaving) of phantasm. through analysis of emblematic form and the (nin os) of the Sphinx. 43-45)]. one can grasp the proper meaning of the cenof the present inquiry-the reconstruction of the theory of the phansubtends the entire poetic project bequeathed by troubadour and Stilnovist lyric to European culture and in which. a discourse that is aware that to hold "tenaciously what is dead exacts the greatest effort" and that eschews' 'the magic power that transforms the negative into being" must necessarily guarantee the unappropriabiliry of its object. We must still accustom ourselves to think of the "place" not as something spatial. through the dense textual entrebescamen (interlacing. The answer.s volume is intended as a first. is 110t necessarily something "reaL" In this sense we can take seriously the question that Aristotle puts in the fourth book of the Physics: "Where is the capristag. Perhaps the topos. The claim that thematically sustains this inquiry into the void. in the Sophist. Each of the essays gathered here thus traces. Perhaps. the placeless place whose Borromcan knot we have tried to draw in these pages. negates and affirms. is precisely that only if one is capable of entering into relation with unreality and with the unappropriable as such is it possible to appropriate the real and the positive. the words of a poet had expressed in the formula "Whoever seizes the greatest unreality will shape the greatest reality. for Aristotle "so difficult to grasp" but whose power is "marvelous and prior to all others" and which Plato. desire. following Plato's suggestion. yet one given the power to act such that "what is not. and word. conceives as a "third genre" of being. analysis magnitudtnis (analysis of magnitude) would be adequate to the topos outopos. rather. the stanza offered to the endless joy tgioi ehe mai non fina) of erotic experience. we should think of it as a pure difference. will-in a certain sense be. This discourse behaves with respect to its object neither as the master who simply negates it in the act of enjoyment nor like the slave who works with it and transforms it in the deferral of desire: its operation is.xviii IJ INTRODUCTION INTRODUCTION 0 xix have been unable either to appropriate or enjoy. within its hermeneutic circle. " f:·· From this vantage one can speak. of a topology of the unreal. where the sphinx?" tpou gar esti tragclaphos he sphinx). analogous to what 111 mathematics is defined as an analysis situs (analysis of site) in opposition to .

It is not. they are expressed in mourning. finally. Rilke Many attempted in vain to say the most joyful things joyfulfy.Part 1 The Phantasms of Eros Now loss. Holderiili . it affirms it. if you wish. but a second acquisition-cthis time wholly internal-: and equally intense. here. cannot do anything against possession: it completes it. cruel as it may be. at bottom.

tristitia (sorrow). runs to face the window and look out.w of the slothful man rests obsessively on the window and with his fantasy.Chapter 1 The Noonday Demon During the whole of the Middle Ages. the convents of rech~se". he leaps to his feet. The ga. He hears a voice. he extends the 3 . and palaces of the cities of the world fell on the dwellings of spiritual life. torpid and as if dismayed. If he reads. and desidia (idleness) arc the names the church fathers gave to the death this sin induced in the soul. If he wipes his face with his hand. slips into sleep. Acedia (sloth). but turns back to sit down where. a minute later. assailing them when the sun reached its highest point over the horizon. although its desolate effigy occupies the fifth position in the lists of the SlI111//1ae virtutum et vitiorum (Summa of virtues and vices). and yet he does not descend to the street. a scourge worse than the plague that infested the castles. At the squeak of the door. he was. The fathers exercised themselves with particular fervor against the dangers of this "noonday demon"? that chose its victims among the homines religiosi (religious men). he interrupts himself restlessly and. and. in the miniatures of manuscripts. he imagines the image of someone who comes to visit him. penetrated the cells and cloisters of monasteries. loathing of life). the Thebaid of the hermits.l an ancient hermeneutic tradition considered it the most lethal of the vices. taedium vitae (weariness. Perhaps for no other temptation of the soul do their writings show such a pitiless psychological penetration and such a punctilious and chilling phenomenology. and in the popular representations of the seven capital sins. the only one for which no pardon was possible. villas.

the wall. the constant availability of distraction.and everything that he has within reach seems harsh and dlf.4 In the evocation of the infernal train of tbefiliae acediae (daughters of sloth) . ptlsillanimiras.:' As soon '\S this demon begins to obsess the mind of some unfortunate one: it in~in\lates into him' a horror of the place he finds himself in. that is. obtains. brothers lack all good qualities.. or as if he had fasted for two or three days. the flight of the will before itself and the restless hastening from fantasy to fantasy.5 the allegorizing mentality of the church fathers magis. mumb.rThe latter manifests itself in vcrbositas (garrulity). The resurrection of the psychological wisdom that thc Middle Ages crystallized in the typology of the slothful therefore risks being something more than an academic exercise: scrutinized close up. he closes the book and uses it as a cushion for his head. with the image of the slothful. having removed his eyes from i~e book." Nevertheless.ery activity that unfolds within the walls ?f his ~ell. it prevents him from staying there in peace and aHcnding to his readlllg. he counts the number of the pages and the sheets of the bindings. an impatience with his own cell. sloth was.oclanns. toward the fifth or sixth hour. f~xes them on. ation of vain and tedious speech.sted from a long journey or a hard task. It makes bun inert before e. and finally.. in fact. Evagatio mentis becomes the flight and diversion from the most authentic possibilities of Dasein. and he begins to bate the letters and the bCllutiful miniilturcsC"he has before his eyes. This is so true that very few will have recognized in the patristic evocation of the [iliae acediae the same (ategories that served Heideggerin his celebrated analysis of daily banality and the collapse into the anonymous and inauthentic of the impersonal construction' 'one . being always empty and immobile at the same pomt. and who has instead not concluded anything or benefited anyone. Modern psychology has to such a degree emptied the term acedia of its original meaning. and a disdain for the brothers who. his . the revolt of the bad conscience against thos~ who exhort It to good. he ent~rs and" exits several times from the cell and fixes his eyes on the sun as If he coul~ slow down the sunset. he who might have been useful to others and guided them. In the first place there . and more exactly. According to Saint Thomas. no b~neht from conventual life.. Again he gazes at the book. and behold the wretched one begin to complain that he obtains. " that has furnished the point of departure (not in fact always to the purpose) for innumerable sociological characterizations of our existence within so-called mass society-but in fact there is a concordance of terms. sadness with regard to the essential spiritual good of man. who in the Summa theo . incapable of taking care of what is truly offered to it. to the particular spiritual dignity that had been conferred on him by God. himself inept at facing any task of the spirit and ~ff11ctShImself. Then he begins to look about himself here and there. torpor. and on t~e . making it a sin. as frequently happens. least of all divine grace. logica gathered the observations of the fathers in a rigorous and exhaustive synthesis. until. the repulsive mask of the noonday demon reveals features that are perhaps morc familiar than we might have expected. from which a sense of privation and hunger that he must satisfy wakes him. the obtuse and somnolent stupor that par~ alyzes any gesture thai might heal us.hng the end of each word he reads.terially fixed th~ han~c~nated psychological constellations of acedia. and finally. dcsperatio. and even food seems ~lfhcult to obtain without efforLFinally he convinces himself that he w. Then. the petulant incapability of fixing an order and a rhythm to one's own thought. He plunges into exaggerated praise of distant and absent mOl1<lsleries and evokes the pla:~s where he could be healthy and happy. hv~ with him who now seem to him careless and vulgar. the prolifer .other h. as if nothing.THE NOONDAY 4 [J DEMON 0 5 THE NOONDAY DEMON fingers and.. arc rather symptoms of a proximity so intolerable as to require camouflage and repression. ". What afflicts the . the ambiguous and unstoppahle Jove-hate for good In itself. the "small soul" and the scruple that WIthdraws. a languor seized his body. we see that it was not placed under the rubric of laziness but under that of anguished sadness and desperation.11Inot be at ease until he abandons his cell and that if he were to remain there. and a rabid hunger for food. he would perish. an~1 ~ancor (resentment). Querulously. falling into a brief and shallow sleep.. 11 species tristitinc (kind of sorrow). cvagatio mentis (wandering of the mind).f1?ult. the misunderstanding and the minimization of a phenomenon. could provide salvation. vcrbositas is the gossip that everywhere incessantly dissimulates that whicb it should disclose and that maintains Dasein within equivocation. the dark and presumptuous certainty of being already condemned beforehand and the complacent sinking into one's own destruction. with. and importunitas mentis (importunity of mind). a senseless confusion comes over hIS mind similar to the mist that envelops the earth. burning with spiritual conversation. and he sighs and moans that his spirit Will pro~uce no fruit so long as he remains where he is. that it is difficult to discern in the spectacular medieval personification of the noonday demon and its [iliac the innocent mixture of laziness and unwillingness that we are accustomed to associate. crestfallen before the difficulty and the effort of spiritual existence. If we examine the interpretation the doctors of the church gave of sloth. be p. lnstabilttas loci vel prop~ ositi (instability of place and purpose). and that.IS ma/am (malice. ill will). curiositas is the curiosity that seeks what is new only to jump once again toward what is even newer. the insatiable desire to see for seeing's sake that disperses in always new possibilities. and mcnD'Nhile he fills ius head with idle (~IcIl1ations. as if he were exhau. against the capitalist work ethic. and leaves it inert and empt~. curiositas. proceeds tor a fe~ 1ll1~s. far from signifying that it is remote and extraneous. he describes pleasant eommunltles of brothers. at the last. through this impossibility of sustaining attention (the instabilitas of the fathers).

of negation alld lack. pletes in its flight is a testimonial to the endurance of the link that binds it to its Object. that is.ains fixed in that whi~~1 has rendered itself inaccessible. as in Kafka's aphorism. that is. lns~far as his or her tortuous intentions open a space for the epiphany of the unobtainable. the tondo of Bosch in the Prado. all of its features thus describe in its concavity the fullness of that from which it is turned away. therefore." defined as "a sadness of the soul and an affliction of the heart that seeks always that for which it is ardently thirsty. on the contrary. Saint Thomas discerns perfectly the amhiguous relation of desp~ration to its own desire: "What we do not desire. In the Western tradition. "it should be counted not a vice but a virtue. and the seven sins take on the order that is ·:ol1ndIII popular illustrations and allegorical representations from the end of the Middle Ages. rep- resented as a woman who desolately lets her gaze fall to earth and abandons her h~ad to the support of her hand. or as a bourgeois or cleric who entrusts his discomfort to the cushion that the devil holds out for him.. " to Notes 1. in reality. the slothful testifies to the obscure wisdom according to which hope has been given only for the hopeless.~hlch there IS something eternal.l'hila"gwi(l (avarice). insofar as sloth is the horrified flight before that which cannot be evaded in any way. in psychological terms the recessus of the slothful docs not betray an eclipse of desire but. next to tristitia mortifera (deadly sorrow) [or diabolica.rhil/ (pride). and which simllltrmcously desires and bars the path to Ius or her own desire. but n~t the way that leads 10 it. or secundum deum (according God)] that was the operator of salvation and the "golden goad of the soul. but the exemplary gesture of allowing the head and glance to decline as an emblem of the desperate paralysis of the soul before its inescapable situation. acterization of acedia by Jacopone da Benevento: "Acedia wants to have everything." The ambiguous negative value of acedia becomes in this manner the dialectical leavening capable of reversing privation as possession. but does not want to make an effort. As in those illusory figures that can be interpreted now 111 one way. and. it can be said. . but also a flight toward. goals only for those who will always ~e unable to reach th~m. the mortal malady par excellence. but. The sense of this recessus a bono divillo (withdrawal from divine good).th~l~ most m](jacions speculative intuitions: "Desperatio dicta est. Fixed !U the scandalolls contemplation of a goal that reveals itself in the act by which it ~s precluded and that is therefore so much the more obsessive to the degree that It hecomes 111. hut eight 111 list of John the Cassian.furnicario (lmt). they a~egostrimargia (gluttony). flee from what cannot even be reached. the. :/Cedw (~Ioth).12 In the ecstatic as~ension of the Scala Paradisi of John Climachus. in theological terms. acedia does not hav~ only a negative value. 11 What the mnemotechnical project of the Middle Ages offered here to the edification of the contemplator was not a naturalistic representation of the "guilty sleep" of the lazy person. the becoming unobtainable of its object: it is rite perversioll ofa will that Wllnts the object. If. familJUT to us through the frescoes of Giotto in Padua. that he or she manages to forget it or ceases.ore unattainable. whose distorted image Kierkegaard fixed in the description of the most fearful of its daughters: "the despcrati<~n that is ~ware of its being dcspcrntion." he writes.' . awareness of an evil. acedia is a mortal evil. and which now desperately wishes not to be itself'. In the most ancient patristic tradition the capitol . the contemplation of the greatest of goods: acedia is precisely the vertiginous and frightened \vithdrawal (recessus) when faced with the task implied by the place of man before God. contains." Hence. or the engravings . Since its desire re~ m. and SIII". rather.6 D THE NOONDAY DEMON THE NOONDAY DEMON o "7 slothful is not." Paschasius Radbertus includes it i~l one of those fantastic etymologies 10 to which medieval thinkers entrusted . "There exists a point of arrival. As ?f a mortal illness containing ill itself the possibility of its own cure.." and there is no escape because one cannot. . to the satisfaction of the spirit in God. however. gradiendi" [Desperation is so ?amed because It lacks the foot (pes) to walk in the way that is Christ]. This desperate sinking into the abyss that is opened between desire ~nd its unattainable object was fixed..inc are not seven. "cannot be the object either of our hope or of our desperation. The nature of the "noonday demon" is just that dialectical. ira (wrath). aware therefore of having an ego in . and every gesture that it com . the acidiosus {slothful one) finds himself or herself in a paradOXIcal position in which. co quod desit d~l pes in via. of acedia that' 'the greatest disgrace is never to have had it. to desire it. be. which communicates with its object in the form. whose identification is among the most sllrpnsmg results of medieval psychological science. glnnm~ With Sa~nt Gregory: rristitia is fused with oredia. but the way that leads to it. now in another. but to gallriitlln. but no path. ('cnod()xin (vainglory). indeed. as long as it is deprived of it. the fathers placed a tristitia salutifera (saving sorrow) [or urilis (useful). or tristitia saecula (weariness of the worldj]. as such.9 This persistence and exaltation of desire in the face of an object that the subject itself has rendered unobtainable is expressed in the ingenuous popular char .. quae Christus est. Precisely because of this fundamental contradiction. acedia is not only a flight from. by medieval iconography in the type of acedia. in fact. anxiously follows it and goes after it with howls and laments. With their intuition of the capacity for dialectical inversron proper to t~e categories of spiritual life. That the slothful should withdraw from his or her divine destiny does not mean. to desire and attention. tristitia (~orr~)w). the seventh step is thus occupied by the "grief that makes joy. i? itself a fundamental ambiguity. it is. what the s10thfullacks is not salvation. or desperately wishes to be itself." It is to his equivocal erotic constella~i?n that W(~ owe the fact that in the SWIiJlW thc%gico sloth is not opposed to sallrrrtudo. of this flight before the richness of one's own spiritual possibilities." and.

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10 0 THE NOONDAY

DEMON

netiis, 1591. p. 168). The image of the 1'0"1'.\.\1/.1, of drawing back, constant in the patristic descriptions of stoth, also appeared. as we will sec! in 1he. mNHc<J~accounts of' melancholy, from humoral medicine through Freud. acedia nihil aliud est quam pigritia, nccdla{' autem gr1\1{liiJn1" 9. "Ergo dini opponitul',

(1'J{\c! vidctur esse falsurn; nam pigritin sollicitu(The-refore sloth is nothing but laziness, which is. false; for

Chapter 2 Melencolia I

laziness is opposed to 'lcal. sloth, rather, (0 joy) (S"mll1{1I/'"oiogic(l 2, 2.35). Alcuin, too, insists on the aggravation of desire as an cs:-;cntiCllcharacteristicof sloth: the ~lnthfu} n111n "'i8 stupefied in carnal desires and tnk(~~ no j{)y in ~piri'[!.Ia! works, nor is gladdened Ihe assistance thing." inspired of fraternal The link bel Ween sloth and desire, intuitions of medieval psychology why Dante, in I'lIrgarm';" and therefore in the desire of his soul, nor rejoices in and hls idle mind flits over every sloth and love, is among the most the nature of this sin. as labor; but yet he Craves and desires, between ,md is essential manner"

to understanding (v. 126),

This explains

XVII,

ll11nrr,(oo{i sloth as a form of love, to be precise, Crotvlus,

that love "fhar runs to the good in a disol'dcred 10. The unsurpassed lle'S

or material

model of this f:lnt"otic science of etyma is in Ptatos of language

whose richdeserving of

on the scknce

i< far from completely

explored.

Among the many playful

etymologies

(which ate not, however,

to be taken only as jokes)

that Plato proposes,

being J'C.1110lllbclCd is avidly sought");

here 11l'C ot least (ho,c of ",10111" (name) from OIl "" mastna estin ("the being that istoria (history), hoti !,i.<trs; 10" ltroun ("beclillse it stops the flow of time"); and of DUrer's MclcIl,"olia
UllletSl/c'hllJlg

aiethci« (truth) from theta ale ("divine race"). Jl. Panofsky and Saxl, in their study on (he genealogy [Diirer's 1923)], "Mclcncolill misunderstood I". Eine qucllcnlind the medieval. concept its essence. of sloth,

(see figure 1)
(Leipzig-Berlin, as the guilty that the the.

IYl'rngc\('hirhllic/1e

which they interpreted
j,

simply

sleep of the lacy. SO",I1(OI<'I1I;(1 an ~'l'ect of /01'j101'circa PI(7«('(I'I(I) (,,~ of ,loth and in no way characlerizes hcad to recline on one hand signifies gesture essence Salernitan the noonday Patrologir: that the old German of sloth become Blick, ria" H(1l1!,1gcscllkll",/tcil blurred conversion

only one of tl1e.con'cquenct'

The easy refuge of sleep is but the "pillow" Am] it is precisely alludes: trurichcit,

devil hold, out 10 the ~lothflll man to deprive him of all rc~h1"l\ce to sin. The gesture of allowing not sleep, but desperation. of the terrr, acedia
10

to this emblematic from triiren = dell of this

equivalent

The list of the four humors of the human body was condensed by the Regimen sanitatis of Salerno into an aphorism of three verses: Quatuor humores in humane corpore constant: Sanguis cum cholera, phlegma, melancholia. Terra melancholia, aqua phlegma, acr sanguis, cholera ignis. [Four humors coexist in the human body: Blood, with choler, phlegm, and melancholy. Earth melancholy, water phlegm, air blood. choler fire.] Melancholy! or black bile (meTaino choler is the humor whose disorders are liable to produce the most destructive consequences. In medieval humoral cosmology, melancholy is traditionally associated with the earth, autumn (or winter), the dry element, cold, the north wind, the color black, old age (or maturity); its planet is Saturn, among whose children the melancholic finds himself with the hanged man, the cripple, the peasanr.jhe gambler, the monk, and the swineherd .. The physiological syndrome of abundantin melancholiae (abundance of melancholy humor) includes darkening of the skin, blood, and urine, hardening of the pulse, burning in the gut, flatulence. acid burping, whistling in the left ear,2 constipation Of excess of feces, and gloomy dreams: among the diseases it can induce are hysteria, dementia, epilepsy, leprosy, hemorrhoids, scabies, and suicidal mania. Consequently the temperament that derives from its predominance in the human body is presented in a sinister light: the melancholic is pexime com-

(allow the gocc and head
and confll,,,d

foil toward the earth). Only later does the It is po~,ible be avoided catarrhs, that the pathway mcridicnns, which the

with laziness.

was the ;:ls~hn11atlon of the noonday

demon of sloth to the smmms

RrgimCl1l'1lIJilrllis (Rule of health) recommended xleeper." in a work attributed

as the cause of many evils: and fever / all these come to viriol'll'" et virtutum, sadness to he douhle, in in-

"Let your 11()Ondny sleep be none, or brief. I Sloth, headache», 12. Already

to Saint Augustine. (Liber de confllctu
}IS

Juthw, 40)) rristitia is defined

g(!rHina [twjn}: "I discovered

deed I knew two k.inds of sorrow: brings salvation, be counted polarity:

one that works .~nl\'a;inll, the other, evil; one that draws to peniSo also A lruin: "There (Uh('I' de virtutis, he~,1thf"I.,omdilTIes at Dorn (111 Thrntrun: are lwo kinds of sadness: one that "Sadit .should lethal; when it is hcalrhful, sloth also appears Argenrornri rhrmirtnn, chap. 33): and JOIl"" dOrleans:

tcnce , (he other lhat leBd, to desperation." one thai brings plagues" ness occurs ill two ways, thot i.' .. sometimes not a vice but a virtue." in the Clads totins r!;ilo.\;orhioc

In the alchcnrica:

("rmil]()logy

with a double 1622t vol. I),
(IS

the alchemical
quality ("Now

oven is. called rrrrdio bccaus.e of itl:: .slo\"\:nesliJ which, howe v·Ie:l~ appears
we have the oven filled up [or fully prepared], on acc0tmt of the slow fire'). which we somelime,

a m'.ce.<;,<;ary

call ,101'h, because

it is slo'v,,' in nperation.

II

120 MELENCOLIA I

MELENCOLlA I

D

13

plexionatus (worst complected), sad. envious, malevolent, avid, fraudulent, cowardly, and earthly. Nevertheless, an ancient tradition associated the exercise of poetry, philosophy, and the arts with this most wretched of all humors. "Why is it," asks one of the most extravagant of the Aristotelian problcmata, "that all men who are outstanding in philosophy, poetry, or the arts are melancholic, and some to such an extent thatthey are infected by the disease arising from black bile?" The answer Aristotle gave to his own question marks the point of departure of a dialectical process in the course of which the doctrine of genills came to be joined indissolubly to that of the melancholic humor under the spell of a symbolic complex whose emblem ambiguously established itself in the winged angel of DUrer's Melencolia (see figure 1); Those for instance in whom the bile is considerable and cold become sluggish and stupid, while those with whom it is excessive and hot become. mad, good-natured or amorous, and easily moved to passion and desire. , , . But many, because this heat is near to the seat of the mind, arc affected by the diseases of madness or frenzy, which accounts for the Sibyls, Bacis, and all inspired persons, when their condition is due not to a disease but to a natural mixture. Maraeus. the Syracusan, was an even better poet when he was mad. But those with whom the excessive heat has sunk to a moderate amount are melancholic, though more intelligent and less strange, but they differ from the rest of the world in many ways, some in education, some in the arts, and others again in statesmanship'. 3 This double polarity of black bile and its link to the' 'divine mania" of Plato were gathered and developed with particular fervor in that curious miscellany of mystic sects and avant-garde cabals that gathered, in the Florence of Lorenzo the Magnificent, around Marsilio Ficino. In the thought of Picino, who recognized himself as a. melancholic and whose horoscope showed "Saturnum in Aquaria ascendenrem" (Saturn ascendant in Aquarius), the rehabilitation of melancholy went hand in hand with an ennobling of the influence of Saturn," which the astrological tradition associated with the melancholic temperament as the most malignant of planets, in the intuition of polarized extremes where the ruinous experience of opacity and the ecstatic ascent to divine contemplation coexisted alongsideeach other. In this context, the elemental influence of the earth and the astral influence of Saturn were united to confer on the melancholic a natural pro~ pensity to interior withdrawal and contemplative knowledge; The nature of the melancholic humor follows the quality of earth, which never dispersed like the other elements, but concentrated more strictly in itself. , . such is also the nature of Mercury and Saturn, in virtue of which the spirits, gathering themselves at the center, bring back the

apex of the soul from what is foreign to it to what is proper to it, fix it in contemplation, and allow it to penetrate to the center of things. 5 Thus the cannibal and castrated god, represented in medieval imagery as lame and brandishing the harvesting scythe of death, became the sign under whose equivocal domination the noblest species of man, the "religious contemplative" destined to the investigation ofthe supreme mysteries, found its place next to the "rude and material" herd of the wretched children of Saturn. It is not easy to discern the precise moment when the moral doctrine of the noonday demon emerged from the cloister to join ranks with the ancient medical syndrome of the black-biled temperament. When the iconographic types of the slothful and the melancholic appeared fused in calendar illustrations and popular almanacs at the end of the Middle Ages, the process must have already been under way for some lime; only a POOf understanding of sloth, one that identifies it" with its late travesty as the "guilty sleep" of the lazy person, can explain why Panofsky and Saxl , in their attempt to reconstruct the genealogy of DUrer's Mefcl1calia, reserved such scant space for the patristic literature on the "noonday demon." To this poor understanding we also owe thc erroneous opinion (repeated . by all who have traditionally preoccupied themselves with this problem)" that acedia had a purely negative valuation in the Middle Ages. It maybe supposed, on the contrary, that the patristic discovery of the double polarity of tristitiaacedia prepared the ground for the Renaissance reevaluation of the atrabilious temperament within the context of a vision in which the noonday demon, as the temptation of the religious, and black humor, as the specific malady of the contemplative, should appear assimilable, and in which melancholy, having undergone a gradual process of moralization, presented itself as, so to speak, the lay heir of cloistral sorrow and gloom, 7 In the Medicine of the Soul of Hugh of St. Victor, the process of allegorical transfiguration of humoral theory appeared close to completion, If in Hildegard von Bingen the negative polarity of melancholy was still interpreted as the sign of original sin, in Hugh the black bile was now identified rather with the tristitia utilis (useful sorrow) in a perspective where the humoral pathology became the corporeal vehicle of a mechanism of redemption: The human soul uses four humors: sweetness like blood, bitterness like red bile, sadness like black bile ... , Black bile is cold and dry, but ice and dryness can be interpreted now in a good, now in an evil sense. ... It renders men now somnolent, now vigilant, that is, now grave with anguish, now vigilant and intent on celestial desires .... You ohtainc~i, through blood, the sweetness of c~ari~; have now, through black bile, 0 melancholy, sorrow for your sins! This reciprocal penetration of sloth and melancholy maintained intact their

1.4 0 MELENCOLlA

I

MELENCOLIA

I CJ 15

double polarity in the idea of a mortal risk latent in the noblest of human intentions, or the possibility of salvation hidden in the greatest danger, With this in mind we can understand why the "greedy desire to see the supreme good" should be found in the writings of Constantine the African, the master of the medical school of Salerno, as one of the causes of melancholy of the religions" and why, on the other hand, the theologian Guillaume d'Auvergne could affirm that in his day "many pious and religious men ardently desired the melancholy disease."?' In the stubborn contemplative vocation of the saturnine temperament reappears the perverse Eros of the slothful, who keeps his or her own desire fixed on the inaccessible.

immoderatisq1l{' jciunis, tacdio soiitudinis ~K'nimia kclione, dum dicbus ac noctibus auribus suis personant, vertuntur i.n melnncholiam et Hippocrari« magis fornentis quam 110~t1'iS monitis indigcur" (There are those who, hecause of the d3mpncss of the cells, immoderate fa,I" the boredom of soliand tude, anrl the excessive rc~dillg sounding in their cars dny and night, are given to lIlcbnrh(_\ly, need the jloultke of Hippocrates more than our admonition,) (Epistle 4), 8, The author is actually Hugo de Folietn iPatrologi«: latina, 176, 1 I 83ff.) , 9. Guiliclmi Parisiensi«, De universe, 1,3,7 (in 0FTa Dlllnili),

Notes
l . Tho. "'0,1 CI)I11pICk study on melancholy
IInJ

remains omission,'

that of Klibnnsky, and doubtful

Panofsky,

and Sax). Satin the

and ,1/1'/rmchoiy (London,

1964),

whose

points

will be noted especially

course of this chapter.

,2, This symptom (and tJot,~' Panofsky seems to hold, .slothful somnolence,
the ~Hlthorita!lve sleep) prrh<1ps the depictions be misl1l1dcrstnpd (midday sl""p) 3, These Bringing Bcllcrophon, humanism. case
(If

given that o-f
often came to

Ar~sIOlle-Dp. bc-'::t explain~

sonmo et vigilia, 457<1-- affirmed
IIp

that mclJTlchnlics

were not lovers of so characteristi«

the gc<:;t_-urcof hohilng temperament act "f "J'H:c?ing his

the head \vHh the: left hand,

of the melancholic

(ill thf oldest reprcscntations

, the rnrlanrholir of sloth:

nppcnrcd st:l1lding, in

nle

len

car with his hand). This attitude probably

ns ::m indication placed 111 relation two quotations Horverd

of :-:kep_inr;r;:;; :-Inc! ;:J;r;:=dmibted 1'0 depictions theory

the p~tll of this

c(_\!1'.UgCT1CCmay be ~0ughl in the medical
from Problem University

of the harmful
demo" of sloth,

effects

of tho S(!J)JJlIIS mcridianu:
are. from the translation by

with the noonday Press,

30 of Aristotle's

Problem»

W S, Hell (Cambridge: Heraclitus

19J1), 953a and 954a-b, in his Problem 30 [Hercules, length. After its began with A second 1951); the century: at once for the I' und Maracus] would risk excessive

up to date the lis! of m('hHldlOlic~ listed by Aristotle
(see figureS), Dernocritus,

first reappearance among the love poets of the rlucccnto , the gre,M return of melancholy Among artists. the coses of Michelangelo, DOrer, and Ponrorrno are exemplary. epidemi« struck in Elic.1l'cth:m England John Donne all three mnong the victims-were During positive' periods, .. of the importance Mdcl1coliil
HlImm1fSf~l1krds)

(see L. gah)"Thc

Eli~(lhi'I"(!n M(/I(/d)~ Lansing. was the nineteenth Strimlherg, Coleridge,

is a good example , The third epoch of l1wl:md101y Batltkbirc, melancholy Nerval , De Quincey,

;md Huysmans.

was interpreted

\"c",ith daril1g pOhlrtlatlon

as 80mdl1illg of Saturn

nne! negative
(If

4. The rediscovery interpreration Durer's
der marfmfri(ln;ffrh{'

of the astrological

theory of influences tDurers

was the work of K, Giehlow in Sit~I"'gshcri,~htr interpretation man, strongly

Stich 'Melrncholia

Vienna! 1903) and A. \V\lrburg ("llddnl~dlc;mt~ke
drr Hridrl/wrg of Durer's

Weissa~
of

gung in Wort und Bild zu Lathers schoftcn, humanistic vol. 26, Heidelberg, comfort incarnation Ficin»,

Zejten"

A knrlrmi» der Wissclldemon of the

1920). Warbllrg's of the contemplative

image as a "pamphlet

against the fear of Saturn,"

which trall'i"orrns

into the plastic aforemcnuonerl 5. Marsilio eel, Paris, Rrnaitsancr,
tW(I

111" effigy of the planetary influenced the conclusion:

study by PIl1lofsky anrl Sax!' Thf'nlnsio platonic« d(' onirnnvsnn invnortoliratc, critical edition by R. Mar-

1964, book 13, chap. 2, Harmoudsworrh, 1967) and Rudolf Wittkower, of mdnn(holy 811d iristitia-ncrdia, which appeared qui humore rather as ccllarurn, is found in a letter of Saint Jerome: "Sunr

6. The error is thus repearcd even by carcf» I students such as Edgar Wind (Pagan Mystcrie.' in the
7, Proof of the early convergence aspeors of (he same reality,

while. (Problems." In the same passage. as in lhe Speculum doctrinai» of Vincent de Beauvais." in the strongly mOl'[llizing interpretation of humoral theory by Hildegard von Bingen the abnormal Eros of the melancholic assumed no less than the aspect of a feral and sadistic disturbance: Melancholies have great hones rhllt contain little marrow. and black blood. The very process of falling in love here became the mechanism that unhinges and subverts the moral equilibrium. The substantial proximity of erotic and melancholic pathology found its expression in the De amore of Ficino.. Because of this. and mortal like that of predatory wolves . S. It is because of having observed this condition timt the doctors of antiquity have affirme~1 that love is a passion that resembles the melancholy disease. ceaselessly oppresses. w. which appeared with the name amor hereos or amor heroycus. are exhaled each day in order to regenerate the spirits. and black blood that produces melancholic or black bile. The penis proves this as it quickly increases from small to large because of the breath in it. maladies. The soul of the lover is pulled toward the image of the beloved written in the imagination and toward the beloved itself. they are excessive in lust and without restraint with women. Thither are attracted also the spirits. and Alcuin could say that "he becomes sluggish in carnal vices.. The spirits are produced in the heart with the most subtle part of the blood. whose emaciated and ambiguous caricature made its timely appearance among the emblems of black humor Oil the frontisniece of sixreenrh-cenmry treMises OIl melancholy: Wherever the assiduous intentions of the soul bear themselves. transform what rightly belongs to contemplation into the desire of the embrace. trans. The physician Rasis prescribes therefore. "to those who. and." The erotic intention that unleashes the melancholic dis- . the specific character of melancholic Eros was identified by Ficino as disjunction and excess. in order to recover. analogously. which are the vehicles or the instruments of the soul. which fills the head with its vapors. Then the body dries out and dwindles. and the lovers become melancholic. day and night.. the soul with dark and frightening visions . twisted. and art attributed to it an exasperated inclination to Eros. fasting. and nothing remains but impure. 953b) From this moment on. thick. In this tradition. conversely." On occasion." he wrote.." But the nexus between love and melancholy had long since found its theorer)6 leal foundation in a medical tradition that constantly considered love and melancholy as related.. fully articulated in the Viaticum of the Arab physician Haly Abbas (who.. The willful figural synthesis that emerged from this mechanism and that pushed Eros to assume the obscure saturnine traits of the most sinister of the temperaments must have remained operative for centuries in the popular conception of the amorous melancholic.MELANCHOLIC EROS 0 17 Melancholic Eros Chapter 3 The same tradition that associated the melancholic temperament with poetry. like asses. Aristotle. Because of this a constant refurbishing of pure blood is necessary to replace the consumed spirits. they appeared in fact under the same rubric: "de melancolia nigra et canina et de amore qui ereos dicitur" (of black and canine melancholy and of love that is called ereos). misusing love. they have commerce with women. if not identical. philosophy. walking. erotic disorder figures among the traditional attributes of black bile. For sexual excitement is due to breath. profoundly influenced medieval European medicine). they are exhausted. their embrace is hateful.. dries out the brain. the slothful man was also represented in medieval treatises on the vices as philedonos (pleasure-loving).. love. which nevertheless burns so strongly that they are incontinent with women like vipers. arid. pure and bright blood is dissolved. Hett. coitus.. . "This tends to occur. and.. so much so that if they ceased from the depravation they would readily become mad . there where the most delicate and transparent particles of blood. after having affirmed the genial vocation of melancholies. through the tradition of Constantine the African. there also the spirits direct themselves. hut nevertheless they despise them. and the melancholic are usually lustful. the determined contemplative inclination of the melancholic pushes him or her fatally toward amorous passion. I If. It is in fact the dry. and melancholy were catalogued in contiguous rubrics among the mental diseases. thick. drunkenness. placed lustfulness among their essential characteristics: Now the liquid and the mixing of the black bile is due to breath . in their obsessive flight.

Marce. According to Freud. oration (rhnt heroic rneIrmcholy) love]. narcis sisricnlly identified with the lost object. in modern . 1532. 2. imnw-n<::n c011. point of view.. and the tragic insanity of the saturnine temperament thus finds its root in the intimate contradiction of a gesture that would embrace the unobtainable.l[. and by Inc doctors hcroical 19%. whose conclusions on melancholia. Lugduni. contrary to what might be expected. also explnill('r1 the appearance ccrrurics. whose allegorical intention is entirely subtended in the space between Eros and its phantasms.180 MELANCHOLIC EROS order presents itself as that which would possess and touch what ought merely to be the object of contemplation. Paris. As when. 9.animo that did not escape Warburg) :lItri\l\lled 1.0 Durer pbllci]->Iy r-outnin-. a reference to the am(lr IUTO}"CUS that was."'liscf'nti<l ct rncdicis nmor hcroycus" irrationalis: et graece dicitur heroys . fixating itself on every memory and object formerly linked to the loved object... such loss is not followed by a transfer of libido to another object.n0llg the symptoms immllla~ility mchmcholy. 3. so melancholy is also a reaction to the loss of a loved object. The distance that separates psychoanalysis from the lastsixteenthcentury offshoots of humoral medicine coincides with the birth and the development of modern psychiatric science. merely a matter of a static limit in the mental structure of melancholies that excludes them from the metaphysical sphere. The ~""Oci<1ti0n between still found ". the libido reacts to proof of the fact that the loved one has ceased to exist.that fails to consider the fundamcutal relevance of black bile to the sphere of erotic desire is bound to be exeluded from the mystery so emblematically fixed in DUrer's image. e{ a (alk:nrlfirm that IS i. Leipzig. as some have claimed. According to the succinct formula of Abraham. chap. It is from this perspective that we should interpret the passage from Henry of Ghent that Panofsky placed in relation to DUrer's image and according to which melancholies "cannot conceive the incorporeal" as such. The Lost Object Chapter 4 Notes 1.n.'!lId nervous excitability texts. published five years earlier. of Da. according to medieval medicine. one of the "rare texts in which Freud affronted thematically the psychoanalytic interpretation of the ancient saturnine humor. critical edition by R. 4). Only when it is understood that the image is placed under the sign of Eros is it possible simultaneously to keep and reveal the secret of the emblem. "after being withdrawn from the object. according ~o the medical tr<1(]ilirm passed on by Ficino. syndrome. ed. the essay "Mourning and Melancholia" was published.rtccnth This pr~ximity of love anrl mr lancholy. 5> (lion and more ('ommfmly love. c and in Greek it is called hrrovs 4> MN~i!. 19 . that Mclanch- Fr~m thi. jib hemica·' 6. the "mchncolia (ill" p"""gc of the Dr. et vulgaritcr amor. however. Thus Arnaldo di'lingoishrci itatur five types of alicnatio: (he third is mclnncholy. in Opera.\C:("0Inpanicd by enormous and irrational c(1l'wupic::n'!lCe: . sexual perversion.nr MeI"IIm/ic (Lady Melancholy) in the love poetry of the thirteenth In 1917." That is. Causae el curae. 1903. constituted the basis of Freud's study. and whose persistence in the Freudian text testifies to the extraordinary stability over time of the melancholy constellation: the withdrawal from the object and the withdrawal into itself of the contemplative tendency. the dynamic mechanism of melancholy borrows its essential characteristics in part from mourning and ill part from narcissistic regression. Therefore it is not without some surprise that we rediscover in the Freudian analysis of the mechanism of melancholia-translated naturally into the language of libido =two elements that appeared traditiona!lyin the patristic descriptions of acedia and in the phenomenology of the black-biled temperament. Kaiser.() Ficino. 73. of the process in whose course the traditional contemplative vocation ofthe melancholic reveals itself vulnerable to a violent disturbance of desire menacing it from within. De amore. which classifies melancholia among the grave forms of mental disease. in the lnternationale Zeitschrijt fur Psychoanalyse (vol.l. but rather by its 'withdrawal into the ego. the incapacity of conceiving the incorporeal and the desire to make of it the object of an embrace are two faces of the same coin. 123~5()) qunm concornthe fourth is ""Iicnario ofVillanova (Libcr de porte opcrativo. in mourning. testllyiug (e-rethism) is to the curious of mclnnrholy psychiatric over time of the nfrab~!ious. but rather of a dialectical limit tied to the erotic impulse to transgress. p. because they do not know "how to extend their intelligence beyond space and size. which transforms the contemplative intention into the' 'concupiscence of the ernbrace." This is not. a kind of melancholy and foi." It is curious that this erotic constellation of melancholy should have so persistently escaped scholars who have attempted to trace the genealogy and meaning of Durer's Melencolia. Any iuterprctarion=-whatevcr its ability to decipher one by one the figures inscribed in its field of vision -. fol. see also 20ft.

From this point of view. who conceived of sloth as the withdrawal from a good that had not yet been lost and who interpreted the most terrible of its daughters. if we wish to maintain the analogy with mourning. " Shortly thereafter. In melancholia. affirmed and denied. which the analogy with the exemplary mechanism of mourning had in part disfigured and rendered unrecognizable. Ahrah"m. dc Psyclumatysc 6 (1972). If the libido behaves as if a loss had occurred although nothing has in fact been lost: this is because the libido stages a simulation where what cannot be lost because it has never been possessed appears as lost. in melancholia not only is it unclear what object has been lost. the strategy of melancholy opens a space for the existence of the unreal and marks out a scene in which the ego may enter into relation with it and attempt an appropriation such as no other possession could rival and no loss possibly threaten. On this characteristic of the fetish nC("()1'(tingto Freud." This is a curious triumph. but it has shown itself stronger than the ego. in the attempt to gloss over the contradiction posed by a loss without a lost object. If this is true. "one to separate the libido from it. the child does neither one thing nor the other (or.In the case of the fetishist VerlclIgmmg (disavowal). the withdrawal not from a defect." And as the fetish is at once the sign of something and its absence." 1 Nevertheless. despair." = Notes J. yes. without it being known what has been lost. of a "triumph of the object over the ego. Psyr-hn-Annlyrical Investigations and Treatment of ManicDepressive Insanity and Allied Condition. in melancholia the object is neither appropriated nor lost. shows thatthe withdrawal of libido is the original datum. rather. on the one hand. coexist and reconcile in one of those compromises possible only. on the other hand. but from a frau tic cxnccrbation of desire that renders its object inaccessible to itself in the desperate attempt to protect itself from the loss of that object and to adhere to it at least in its absence. 1927). and the singular obstinacy with which eighteenth-century legal psychiatry classified as forms of melancholia the cases of cannibalism that fill with horrors the criminal chronicles of the period. as described by Freud and Abraham. Similarly. wc ought to say that melancholia offers the paradox of an intention to mourn that precedes and anticipates the loss of the object. 11 compromise whose identification remains among the most fecund acquisitions psychoanalysis has bequeathed to the sciences of the spirit ." Sl'l~rtcd Pap. 3. repudiating. love and hate-> engaged in pitched battle around the object. but insofar as such mourning is for an unohtainable object. with respect to the genetic process of mourning. and what could never be possessed because it had never perhaps existed may be appropriated insofar as it is lost At this point the specific ambition of the ambiguous melancholy project. however. On the links between cnnnihalism and melanchoha. but both possessed and lost at the same tirne. the examination of the mechanism of melancholia. does both things simultaneously." In fact. From this perspective we can also understand in what sense ought to be taken both Freud's correlation (made in Abraham's footsteps) between melancholy and "the oral or cannibal phase in the evolution of the libido. Here psychoanalysis appears to have reached conclusions very similar to those intuited by the church fathers." where the ego aspires to incorporate its object by devouring it. and recognizing reality. as an anticipation' of unfulfillment and damnation. through the assumption of a perverse symptom).I(. "Notes on the. As. The ambiguity of the melancholic relationship to the object was thus assimilated to the cannibalizing that destroys and also incorporates the object of libido.20 0 THE LOST OBJECT tHE LOST OBJECT 0 21 the libidinal investment returns to the ego and the object is simultaneously incorporated in the ego. the evidence of his perceptions. in the conflict between the perception of reality (which forces the child to renounce his phantasy) and his desire (which drives him to deny its perception). the other to defend from attack this position of the libido' ' . melancholia presents a relationship to its origin that is especially difficult to explain. which consists in conquering through autosuppression.'rs nn Psycho-Anaiysi» (London.. K. in the ease of acedia. if melancholy succeeds in appropriating its own object only to the extent that it affirms its 103s. so it might be said that the withdrawal of melancholic libido has no other purpose than to make viable an appropriation in a situation in which none is really possible. with a certain discomfort. "It must be admitted. sec chapter 6 of 'his volume. and owes to this contradiction its own phantomatic status. the sinister shadow of the god who devours his children rises again. Covering its object with the funereal trappings of mourning. It does not surprise us then that Freud was able to speak. that Chronos-Saturn whose traditional associations with melancholy find here au additional basis in the identification of that phantasmaric incorporation of the melancholic libido with the homophagic meal made of that deposed monarch of the Golden Age. "that a loss has indeed occurred. Freud does not conceal his embarrassment before the undeniable proof that. although mourning follows a loss that has really occurred. so milch so as to make it one of the essential characteristics of the malady. suppressed. Freud speaks of an "unknown loss" or of an "object-loss that escapes consciousness." . it is understandable why Freud remained so struck by thc ambivalence of the melancholic tendency. it is precisely in the gesture that abolishes the object that the melancholic demonstrates his or her extreme fidelity to it. on the topic "DestillS du cannihnlisme. beyond which investigation can go no further. melancholy confers upon it the phantasmagorical reality of what is lost. under the laws of the unconscious. see the Nouvcll« R('l". 2. so the object of the melancholic project is at once real and unreal. incorporated and lost." Freud writes. in regard to melancholia. becomes understandable: it is what the ancient humoral theory rightly identified in the will to transform into an object of amorous embrace. what should have remained only an object of contemplation. Behind the "melancholic ogres" of the legal archives of the nineteenth century.." clarifying that "the object has 'been. melancholy would be not so much the regressive reaction to the loss of the love object as the imaginative capacity to make an unobtainable object appear as if lost. it is uncertain that one can speak of a loss at all.

however. Nevertheless. we gave up hallucinatory satisfaction of our wishes at a very early period and set up a kind of "reality-testing. it is not possible. receives the images of objects. and. only the attentive . Not an external body. many centulies previously. In his essay "Mourning and Melancholia" Freud barely hints at the eventual phantasmatic character of the melancholic process. who in none of his writings elaborates a properorganic theory of the phantasm v does not specify what part the phantasm pl8y~ in the dynamic of melancholic introjection. and this failure must very soon have moved us to create some contrivance with the help of which it was possible to distinguish such wishful perceptions from a real fulfillment and to avoid them for the future. always more explicitly. in determinate circumstances. phantastic) faculty that only if situated within the fundamental complex of the medieval theory of the phantasm could all of its aspects be understood. affirmed by reality. According to this multiform doctrinal complex. was to have formed part of the projected volume of Preparations/or a Metapsychologyv to find sketched. According to Freud. between the magical theory of fascination and the medical theory of the influences between spirit and body. makes it possible to account for a whole series of phenomena otherwise inexplicable. But in such a situation. In addition the phantasy is the seat of astral influences. the vehicle of magical influences." J It is necessary therefore to refer to his "A Metapsychological Supplement to the Theory of Dreams" (which.s own investment It is through this distortion of and the phantasms of desire. and the effect of sexual fantasies on the genital member. would find a useful point of reference in a doctrine that. This is what occurs during the hallucinatory psychoses of desire. The same theory also permitted an explanation of the genesis of love. but which the ego must deny because it finds the loss unbearable: The ego then breaks its 1inkto reality to the conscious system of perceptions. but an internal image. spiritus phantasticusv is conceived as a kind of subtle body of the soul that. had conceived of Eros as an essentially phantasmatic process and had prepared a large place in the life of the spirit for the phanrasm. not penetrate into the consciousness reality. and penetrate into consciousness. which is found already variously enuuciated in the pseudo-Aristotelian Theologia. " (' 'Metapsychological Supplement" 231) In certain cases. but perfectly conscious. in the Liber de spiritn et anima of AIcher. In other words. situated at the extreme point of the sensitive soul. the phantasm impressed on the phantastic spirits by the gaze. as a general theory of the phantasm. an investigation into the process through which the phanthorns of desire manage to elude that fundamental institution of the ego. an ancient and tenacious tradition considered the syndrome of black bile to be so closely tied to a morbid hypertrophy of the imaginative (or phantasmatic. forms the phantasms of dreams. the phantasy (phantasiknn pneuma. to understand the amorous ceremonial th at the troubadour lyric and the poets of the" dolce sril novo" (sweet new style) left as a legacy to modern Western poetry unless notice is taken that since its origins this ceremonial presented itself as a phantasmatic process. the real that the reality test is avoided removed. in the development of psychic life. as quid medium between corporeal and incorporeal. the apparition of demons. satisfaction did not occur. can and come to be accepted as a superior and withdraws it. a clinging to the object through the medium of a hallucinatory wishful psychosis. the reality test can be evaded or temporarily 22 set Freud. observing that the revolt against the loss of the loved object can be so intense that a turning away from reality takes place. Medieval phanrasmology was born from a convergence between the Aristotelian theory of the imagination and the Neoplatonic doctrine of the pneuma as a vehicle of the soul. which present themselves as a reaction to a Joss. next to an analysis of the mechanism of the dream. It is probable that contemporary psychoanalysis. is the origin and the object of falling in love.THE PHANTASMS OF EROS rJ 23 Chapter 5 The Phantasrns of Eros aside. which has reevaluated the role of the phantasm in the psychic processes and which seems intent on considering itself. the reality test. that is. with the essay on melancholia published with it. can separate itself from the body and establish supernatural contacts and visions. the ego passes through an initial stage in which it does not yet dispose of a faculty that will permit it to differentiate real from imaginary perceptions: At the beginning of our mental life we did in fact hallucinate the satisfying object when we felt the need for it. such as the action of maternal desire on the' 'soft matter" of the fetus. in particular. and in the De insomniis of Synesius. and.

because its funereal strategy is directed to the impossible capture of the phantasm. and adds that "ex sola cogitatione . Both place themselves under the sign of the spiritus phantastirus. If this is true. The influence of this conception.n the exacerbated phantasmatic practice that constitutes their common trait. because almost all the ingenious and prudent have been melancholics. in a passage of the Trattato della nobilu: della pittura of Romano Alberti." in the passage quoted in chapter 3 hom Ficino's De amore it Is the obsessive and exhausting hastening of the vital spirits around the phantasm impressed in the fantastic spirits that characterizes. No longer a phantasm and not yet a sign. at once. they must retain the phantasms fixed in the intellect." Already Ramon Llull mentioned the affinity between melancholy and the imaginative faculty. In this context. from contemplation alone"). for example. as a "vitium corruptae imaginationis" (fault of corrupt imaginanon). but which also appears closely and enigmatically joined to the noblest creations of human culture. so that afterward they can express them in the way they first saw them when present. The lost object is but the appearnnee that desire Creates for its own courting of the phantasm. more directly than from physical nature.:' The traditional association of melancholy with artistic activity finds its justification precisely i. quickly extended itself beyond its original range. quae cum melancolia maiorern habet concordiam quam cum alia comp1eccione" (perceive from afar through the imagination. The imaginary loss that so obsessively occupies the melancholic tendency has no real object. Aristotle says. and. his happiness and his misfortune. But once again. frequently cited in regard to the history of the concept of melancholy. however. the phantasm yet receives from this negation a reality principle and emerges from the mute interior crypt in order to enter into a new and fundamental dimension. In Albertus Magnus we find that melancholies "rnulta phantasmata inveniunt" (make up many phantasms) because dry vapor holds images more firmly. according to the expression of the Padnan doctor Girolamo Mercuriale. which indissolubly bound the saturnine ternpcramenr to commerce with the .. The locus scvcrus (austere place) of melancholy. At this point. the unreal object of melancholy introjection opens a space that is neither the hallucinated oneiric scene of the phantasms nor the indifferent world of natural objects. The "Imaginationes malae"(wicked phantasies) have long appeared in the medical literature among the "signa melaucoliae" (signs of melancholy) in such an eminent position that it can be said that the atrabilious disease configures itself essentially.24 U THE PHANTASMS OF EROS THE PHANTASMS or EROS 0 25 elaboration and immoderate contemplation of this phantasrnatic mental simulacrum were held capable of generating an authentic amorous passion. and Of magical influence. and the double polarity. Andreas Cappellanus. is also the {IIS!!S SCl'erus (serious play) of the word and of the .. being their work. and the introjection of tile libido is only one of the facets of a process in which what is real loses its reality so that what is unreal may become real.phantasm. this occurs nor only once. has led us to the winged genius of Durer's melancholy and in whose domain the ancient tradition crystallized in this emblem can perhaps find a new foundation. that the melancholic syndrome should have been since its origin traditionally joined to phantnsmatic practice." in which he attempts to delineate a psychoanalytic theory of artistic creation and formulates a hypothesis according to which the work of art would be. located in the no-man's-land between narcissistic self-love and external object-choice. It is still evident. however. given the fundamental pertinence of the black bile in the erotic process. then it is also significant that one of the texts in which Freud lingers longest in his analysis of the "wishful phantasies" should be the essay "Creative Writers and Day-Dreaming. It should be no surprise then. having begun on the traces of the noonday demon and its infernal retinue. of the nature of the phantasm is responsible not only for the melancholies' morbid propensity for necromantic fascination but also for their aptitude for ecstatic illumination. thus defines love as the "immcderata cogitatio" (immoderate contemplation) of the interior phantasm. the interweaving (entrebescar) of symbolic forms and textual practices through which man enters in contact with a world that is nearer to him than any other and from which depend. of love. the subtle body that not only furnishes the vehicle of dreams. but continually. melancholy appears essentially as an erotic process engaged in an ambiguous commerce with phantasms. that this signifies genius and prudence. passio jJla procedit" ("passion derives . specifying that the saturnine "a 1011go accipiunr per ymaginacionem. we can begin to sec the region whose spiritual configuration was the object of an itinerary that. demonic-magic and angeliccontemplative. wishing to imitate.. If the external world is in fact narcissistically denied to the melancholic as an object oflove. the erotic process and the unleashing of the arrabilious syndrome. If one thus reads in the Theologia platonica that melancholics "because of the earthy humor fix the phantasy more stably and more efficaciously with their desires. More than four centuries before psychoanalysis. in some manner. the creations of human culture will be situated one day. which according to Aristotle signifies genius and prudence. whose pertinence to the erotic process here finds its reasons for being precisely in an exceptional phantasmatic disposition. a continuation of infantile play and of the unconfessed but never abandoned phantasmatic practice of the adult. whose De alii ore is considered the' exemplary theorization of courtly love. They keep their minds so much abstracted and separated from nature that consequently melancholy derives from it.. which has greater agreement with melancholy than with other complexions). it is in Ficino and in Florentine Neoplatonism that the capacity of black bile to hold and fix the phantasms was asserted from the perspective of a medical-magical-philosophical theory that explicitly identifies the amorous contemplation of the phantasm with melancholy. In this intermediate epiphanic place. this passage bid the foundations for a theory of art understood as a phantasrnati« operation: Painters become melancholies because.

unattainable]. in giving a body to the incorporeal and rendering the corporeal incorporeal. For this crcaturc. 224-3fll. undocuown. vol. and rove itself a form of s(I/. man succeeds in "enjoying [his] own day-dreams without self-reproach or shame" ("Creative Writers" 153). in the strict sense. the sphere. according to the ancient spagyritic maxim. and the straightedge. to give body to his own phantasies and to master in an artistic practice what would otherwise beirnpossible to he seized or known." The Stnnrlan! Edition of rile C()ml'ler~ Psychological Freud. tified . derives from the link between the image i. that melancholy should have been identified by the alchemists with Nigredo (blackness).) cunnot be idenof by DUrer and the theory of [he ph"nl"~m. the bat in flight is interpreted P'''"gcs fIX'''' Freud's 2. As the relics of a pnst on which is written the Edenic cipher of infancy. as we have seen.. hut it i~ in no way pursued. and 1:& = unreal object. 14 (London: are the translator's (July-Dccctnbcr theory Hogarth Press. vcrpertitionern Haec enim ersi alas non attempts to "II conccrro di mehncolia of the "inner h. a topology of culture. Add.Ir1e. In the Hicrngl'phira of Hompullo (see figure 2). had already noticed the lack of congruence between the smail winged figure and Practice. the scales. 244. following Another important innovation rhar h~s emerged ~'ntbc course of this study is the feevnluatioo the role of the patristic rheorivnrion of rristitia (1rw/ia (which Panofsky interprets simply of as "the . The topology of the unreal that melancholy designs in its immobile dialectic is.a personification !.'. which confrontation withDurer's em(melanimagthe me"bncholic it of that intcrprctution blem The greatest brongh! into question ins derived it'S domain and its measure precisely from an incessant of this present hut il study is to have rcsiruated of the phantasrnatic activity. "who saw in the drawing ~'herub.Iny longer wirh Brauch. nel '500. according to an interpretation by now traditional. that. symbolic (). the symbol of the impossibility for geometry (or for the arts based on it) to reach the incorporeal metaphysical world but.md m·enl"d translations e natnrnli. explains whv Dilrerls cherub darnore" effects undoubtedly beof longs to the iconographic Stilnovi. having become the cipher of an enigmatic wisdom.8~ the. 3. Pr{I"CC (1964): 588·-94.~. which consisted. the hammer. reprinted in L(I [onne ct /'imdUgibfc (Paris. they paint the hat. painted at Lubeck in 1588 (Ms. on the iconograpbical "Praclice-. according to Freud. in this perspective. syndrome against the background choly. Florence and Melancholia.key to rhc ·largcr embtem it. . in order 10 be fully intelligible. (When Ihey wished ramen et au- dacil. that the instruments of the active life should lie abandoned on the ground. All illustration ill the first Ripley Scrowlc." in Mercure d. at the same time. Sloane. dqwing. one (the attempt the meaning of from a of the the bat minor the static limit (the inability reach Jl1c1aphysics) to a dialectical to understnnd CiH1 Notes I. which should have been loglc"lly represented bUnd and without wings" The . it is entirely fitting to the immobile winged figure intent on its own phantasms. something. FH)m "Mourning W()rk" of Sigm. to the same bmil)' Thi. and at whose side sits the spiritus phantasdcus" represented in the form of a cherub. The meditating angel is not.holic by \vay of reprr. Subsequent trnnslarions of e8""Y' that appear with pgc references arc also from this source. at the limit of an essential psychic risk. 1957). which the melancholic project has emptied of their habitual meaning and transformed into images of its own mourning. the millstone." Rrvist» di storia delle scicn:« mrdich« must be placed against (he bnckground schcn1::l: of this 1948). the first stage of the Great Work.:herllb rnoy he "'itobly identified with the spirilll" l'/t(lnm'liNIY depicted in the (let of imprinting the phantasm in the phantasy. operarion of mcbncho!y can be represented in the. have no other significance than the space that they weave during the epiphany of the unattainable. shows the alchemist ~IS a Hritish Museum). externnl object.-'!anC.'igl1 Klein. 5025. hy daring the impossible: cum monsrrare vclnerinr.'·· plant'.. 5. alcbcmical the thematic work. See G. to boldly transcend hominem [asr ivientcrn pingunt."Satnrne: croyances et 'Y1l1bole. thaI the winged (homh (pm. design" to rO~::. The topological or ilL' condition as representing man's attempt.ritlJ(jo mrlanchoiira (melancholy ment is recognized which their interpretation The first consequence produced diligenccj]. 1970). If we turn now to the engraving of Durer (sec figure 1). these objects have captured forever a gleam of that which can be possessed only with the provision that it be lost forever. Since the lesson of melancholy is that only what is ungraspable can truly be grasped. but more daring although l:tcking wings. Tanfani.lhe(l\" volare tarnen conatur' to show weak lind wanton man. where P ~ phanta~rn. The mannerist psychological doctrine 4. ar once.t lyric.(.26 0 THE PHANTASMS OF EROS THE PHANTASMS OF EROS 0 27 symbolic forms through which.. rotation type of the erotes: spiritus phontnsticus as the "spiritelli perspective us is.md attempting fly). (he magic (little love-spirits) vehicle of love "nd belo"gs The semantic rhm1ti"lSy that the phantamwlogicaJ of geometry (0 all Durer'simage. the scroll \\_'ith the inscriprion also permits correctly holding emblem misery ·'I\1ckncolia L" This that contains "Jmlwcillu!Tl be considered an authcntrc th~lt holds the. of the medieval and Rcnaisvance theory of the spiritlls phantasticns "vitiun. on the contrary. The space they demarcate is the top'" of rnclanrhr.l~ aliquid molientcm. The troubling alienation of the most familiar objects is the price paid by the melancholic to the powers that are custodians of the inaccessible." It is not surprising." In the space opened by its obstinate phantasmagoric tendency originates the unceasing alchemical effort of human culture to appropriate to itself death and the negative and to shape the maximum reality seizing on the maximum unreality. Ihe object and vehicle of fhe act of falling In love. corrnptae disorder returned inarionis ") and to have consequently it to the context of the. the emblem of man's attempt. m. theory of love [as the phanrasm between imagination affirmed and melancholy tempera- was. the melancholic alone is at his leisure among these ambiguous emblematic spoils. The affinity by Panofsky and Sax!' insofar 0S it i$ explicilly in the text of Agrippa on is based.ly. A systematic revision of the iconographic objects of this essay: nevertheless tho( have been gradually innovation WoS end Saxl was not among not to bring into relief here the aspects in the course ofthi~ study.seTltll1g interpretation it i~ impossible of Panofsky the first phase of the 6. The compass.

Part II In the World of Odradek: The Work of Art Confronted with the Commodity . but it has the same am" biguous polarity (IriHilil! saililifr:m-ll-istili(l mori((cm) that characterizes the Renaissance concept of mel anchoty. not only is tristitirt-acedia not identified with bziness in patristic thought.28 0 THE PHANTASMS OF EROS guilty sleep of the lnzy") in tile gcnt.1I1Ce doctrine of melancholy..i~ of tbc Ecnais. A. we have seen.

through a perverse symptom. According to Freud. to acknowledge the absence of the penis of the female (of the mother)." It is one of the rare texts in which Freud posed thematically the problem of those individuals "whose object-choice was dominated by a fetish. therefore. the child docs neither one nor the other. he disavows the evidence of his perception. according to Freud. because to do so would permit a threat of castration against his own penis. rather. at one and the same time. he does both simultaneously. whether a part of the body or an inorganic object. 13) with the title "Fetischismus. is. and the counterdesire. reaching one of those compromises that are possible only under the rule of the laws of the unconscious. and. or.Freud. the child refuses [Freud used the term Yerleugnung (disavowalj] to admit its reality. on the other. On the one hand. The fetish." I The results furnished by the analyses in the cases he observed seemed so concordant and unequivocal that they persuaded him to conclude that all cases of fetishism could be reduced to a single explanation. he assumes the anguish he feels before it. which urges him to deny his perception. the sense of this Vcrleugnnng is not as simple as it might seem and in fact implies ao essential" ambiguity. the fetishistic fixation arises from the refusal of the male child. the presence of that nothingness that is the maternal penis and the sign of its ab3J . The fetish is therefore the "substitute for the woman's (the mother's) penis that the little boy once believed in and-for reasons familiar to us-e-does not want to give up" (152-53). Chapter 6 Of. The Absent Object In 1927 a brief article appeared in the lnternationa!c Zeitschrift jilr Psychoanatyse (vol. Nevertheless. with the help of a particular mechanism. In the conflict between the perception of reality. which urges him to renounce his phantasm. he recognizes its reality. Confronted with the perception of this absence.

has become one of the essential stylistic instruments of modern art: the nonfinished. like the maternnl penis. whose study Le fetichisme dans l'amour (Paris. or that he neglected to put this object in relation to the other objects that make up the world of human culture insofar as it is an activity 'that creates objects. Du culte des dicux feticbes. always and only its own mystical phantasrnagoria . without any of its successive incarnations ever succeeding in exhausting the nullity of which it is the symbol. that the fetishist unfailingly tends to collect and multiply fetishes. considered "the most radical instrument of dehumanization' of modern art. That we are not dealing with a superficial analogy is proved by the fact that the mcronymic substitution is not exhausted in the pure and simple substitution of one term for another: the substituted term is. in this sense. 152. 21. which appeared for the first time in the work of Charles de Brosses." However brief our consideration of the phenomenon. in synecdoche. which Ortega y Gasset. equally unsatisfied) by all the objects that present the same characteristics." Freud writes with Binet's words in mind. Precisely because the fetish is a negation and the sign of an absence. appeared only nine years after de Brosses's study] . and the noufinished therefore reveals itself as a perfect and punctual pendant of the fetishist denial. Both symbol of something and its negation. that the metaphoric substitute is originally a nominal replacement for an object that should not be named.r Gilpin. but iusofar as it is the presence of an absencc. as did Novalis." Schlegel. at once negated and evoked by the substitution through a process whose ambiguity closely recalls the Freudian v erleugnung. au parallele de I'ancicnne religion de I'Egypte avec 11.PWhether the object of perversion be an article of lingerie of a certain kind or a small leather boot or a woman's head of hair. it is not an unrepeatable unique object. and many works of the moderns are fragments at their birth. and it is precisely from this kind of "negative reference" that the peculiar poetic character that invests the word arises. Analogous remarks can be formulated for metaphor. 7. that is. It is superfluous to recall that. 1760). 4 Given that Freud was simply attempting to trace the phenomenon of fetishism to the unconscious processes that constituted its origin. The fetishistic character of the phenomenon becomes evident in that particular kind of metonymic operation that. nonexistent or no longer existent. James Strachey (London: Hogarth Press. "Such substitutes. "are. of part for whole (or of a contiguous object for another) corresponds. The psychological connotations of the term are more familiar to us today than the original religious meaning. The first to use the tern] fetishism to designate a sexual perversion was Alfred Binet. the fetish confronts us with the paradox of an unattainable object that satisfies a human need precisely through its being unattainable. in that they allude to something (the absolute poem) that can never be evoked in its integrity. This essential ambiguity in the status of the fetish perfectly explains a fact that observation had already revealed some time ago. had become 8WAre that what he called the "Iaconisrn of genius" consisted precisely in "giving a part for the whole. metaphor substitutes one thing for another. to whom we owe the prophetic affirmation that "many works of the ancients have become fragments. trans. then the analogy with fetishism is even stronger than in the case of metonymy. Neither Restif de la Breronne [whose Pied de Fanchette Ofl ie soulier coulcur de rose (ranchette's foot. vol. we cannot be surprised that he did not unduly-preoccupy himself with the consequences that the ambiguity of the infantile Yerleugnung might have on the status of the fetish object. It is interesting to observe how a mental process of fetishistic type is implicit' in one of the most common tropes of poetic language: synecdoche (and in its close relative. since Vasari and Condivi first gave it critical recognition with respect to the "unfinished" sculptures of Michelangelo. centering on shoe fetishism. to the substitution of one part of the body (or of an object annexed to it) for the whole sexual partner. The substitution. 1888) was attentively read by Freud during the period of his composition of Three Essays on the 'Theory of Sexllality (1905). vol. we realize that it is more familiar than we first imagined. Insofar as it is a presence. the perverse subject will be equally satisfied (or. that every finite work was necessarily subject to a limit that only the fragment could transcend. 1961).32 (J THE ABSENT OBJECr THE ABSENT OBJECT 0 33 sence. on the contrary. at the same time. However much the fetishist multiplies proofs of its presence and accumulates harems of objects. in each of its apparitions." The Standard Edition of (he Complete Psychological Works (if Sigmund Freud.. almost all modern poems after Mallarme arc fragments. rather." Considered from this point of view. or the pink slipper).jt is. but only rendered present through its negation. the fetish can maintain itself only thanks to an essential laceration in which two contrary reactions constitute the nucleus of an authentic fracture of the ego (ichspoltHl1g). in fetishism. not so much in order to reach the second. as to escape from the first. metonymy). because it alludes continuously beyond itself to something that can never really he possessed. in a book often cited but rarely read. the fetish will inevitably remain elusive and celebrate. As Ortega noted. if you wish. Scholia The birth offetishism L From "Fetishism. 153). of the [acticia manufactured by human efforts. The fetish reveals a new and disturbing mode of being of objects. the fetish object is in fact something concrete and tangible. If it is true. " thought. immaterial and intangible.1elir gion actuelle de Nigritie (Paris. who pushed the pre-Romantic taste for the nonfinishcd to the point of proposing the partial destruction of Palladiau villas so as to transform them into artificial ruins." The difference with respect to normal linguistic metonymy is that the substituted object (the "whole" to which the fragment alludes) is. it is something infinitely capable of substitution. and ed . as it has been argued. with some justice likened to the fetishes in which savages believe that their gods are embodied" (Standard Edition.

yes. Even Charles Fourier. anthropologists.no. of the "Golden Age") did not use the word fetish. N. of poetry? I speak. I speak of a poetry .v. The nonfinished 2. 19(3). 1966)].. The Portuguese word feiticio (from which the word fetish is coined) does not derive. in the imperfection of the sketch the perfection of the work". just as the fetish does not coincide in any way with the object in its material aspect. who. " Objects of fetishism 5. 1959). Dictionnaire etymologique de fa langue latine. with his usual acumen.of [acere is linked with that of [as. in this direction. Absolute poetry 3. and V. edited by J. with these words. it exists in every poem without pretense. in the chapter 011 erotic manias in his Le nOUl'('(11( monde amoureux. Ortega's definition of metaphor might well refer to the fetishist Verieugnung: "A strange thing. Even recently. therefore. although they both mentioned numerous cases of sexual "Ietishism" in their works. See Alfred Ernout and Alphonse Meillet.fanum (with the meaning. writes that "although its parts are not finished. one recognizes . though but fleetingly. What the collector seeks in the object is something absolutely impalpable to the noncollector. when from this direction. As Krafft-Ebing records. certainly it does not exist. used this term. speaking of the Virgin in the Medici Chapel. of "enchanted thing") but from the LatinjaClicius ("ar~ tiflcial"). and the acute observations of Edgar Wind in Art and Anarchy (London: Faber and Faber. "nor does the rough sketch stand in the way of the perfection and beauty of the work" [see Renate Bonelli. 1970)]. s.34 U THE ABSENT OBJECT THE ABSENT OBJECT 0 35 nor the Marquis de Sade. Smirnoff'. which can still be perceived in the archaic sense of facere ("make a sacrifice"). "La transaction fetichiquc" (The fetishist transaction). who only uses or possesses the object. The collector 6. "Michelangelo e il non-finite" ill Atti del Convcgno di studi tnichelangioleschi (Rome: Editore dell' Ateneo. in regard to the sculptures of the New Sacristy. of the poetry that does not exist! "Absolute poetry-no. 1970).fari. from the same root asfaeere. On the nonfinished in art and literature see also the volume of essays Das Unvollcndete als kunstlcrische Form (The unfinished as artistic form). by Kraus: "There are metaphors in the erotic language as well." In this sense.. "But of what do I properly speak. in the issue of the Nouvelle Revue de Psychallalyse entitled Objets dufetichisme (vol. from the Latin root offatum. "Le fetichisme dont se derobe 1'objet" (The fetishism whose object disappears). where the term [acticius surely anticipates the modern meaning. the possible implications of the phantornatic status of the fetish object. and the astonishment of de Brosses before the fetish not only has /10 reason to exist. Etymology 7. and Condivi. 2. Metaphor and perversion 4. indeed. gradually abandoned it in response to the strict disapproval of Mauss (according to whom "the notion of fetish ought to disappear completely from science"). The analogy of sexual perversions and metaphor was noted. who had accepted the term proposed by de Brosses. See Guy Rosolato. it betrays a forgetfulness of the original status of objects. Adolf Eisenwerth (Bern: Francke. [anum. Die Urspriing der Metapher (The origin of metaphor) (1919). Der meridian. Saint Augustine even referred to a genus [acticiorum deorum with regard to the pagan idols. this question that cannot be evaded. the fetishist displays many resemblances with a figure not usually listed among perverts: the collector. "II non-finite di Michelangiolo" and Piero Sanpaolesi. several times mentioned the case of a heel fetishist (a "mania" worthy. It should be noted that along with the diffusion of the psychoanalytic use of the term. actual warehouses of braids and shoes were found in the dwellings of the "braid-cutters" or of the shoe fetishists. In this sense. feria and has an originally religious value. suggestively characterized as objet de perspective (perspective object) or objet de manque (object of lack). as de Brosses thought. Giorgio Vasari. yes. . it cannot exist! "But it does exist. states. this unheard-of pretense" [Paul Celan. The illiterate call them perversions. The Indo-European root *dhe·. or to perceive the closeness of the fetish object to the domain of cultural creation. "facio" and "feriac. according to the author. only two of the psychoanalysts contributing to the volume appeared to realize. in every existing poem. everything that isfactitious belongs by rights to the religious sphere." The theory or metaphor as a "substitutive name" for a taboo is found in Heinz Werner. in Ausgewahlte Gedichte (Frankfurt am Main. this human mental activity of replacing one thing for another-not so much out of haste to reach the latter as out of determination to escape the former.

374-75. which has the title "The Fetishism of the Commodity and Its Secret. Live things. The superimposition of the use-value corresponds. whose concrete enjoyment is impossible except through accumulation and exchange: In obvious contrast with the materiality of the body of the commodity. emphasis in the original]' In the fourth part of the first chapter of Capital." a familiar tower. all objects manifest but one thing. But (IS soon as it emerges as a commodity. Nevertheless the table continues to be wood." a "well. It is absolutely clear that. which is that a certain force of labor has been expended in producing them. in a letter to Witold von Hulewicz (particularly important for Rilke's attempt to explain what he had expressed poetically in the Duino Elegies). two years before the publication of Freud's article on fetishism. it is an essentially immaterial and abstract piece of goods. and also not subject. in the American sense.. at the same time. almost everything a vessel in which they found the human and added to the store of the human. sham things. Norton. trans. they are reputed to be value. or r The Universal Exposition whether we consider it from the point of view that by its properties it satisfies human needs.THE UNIVERSAL EXPOSITION 0 37 Chapter 7 Marx. it stands on its head. which Walter Benjamin defined as "pilgrimage-sites In 1925. So far as it is a use-value." Marx is explicitly concerned with this transformation of the products of human labor into "appearances of things. sen~U01JSthing. Since the commodity presents itself under this double form of useful object and bearer of value. but in this disappearance the commodity will once again reaffirm. A house. to the senses": A commodity appears at first sight an extremely obvious.. far more wonderful than if it were to begin dancing of its own free will.a way as to make them useful to him. for our grandparents a "house. Ben Fowkes (New York: Vintage Books. 2 (New York: W. that is subject. to the superimposition of a particular symbolic value on the normal use of the object. samples of the same undifferentiated labor.. This doubling of the product of work. body in which the commodity is manifest may be manipulated in all manner of ways. The fetishization of the object effected by the commodity becomes evident in the Universal Expositions.. the fruit. Just as the fetishist never succeeds in possessing the fetish wholly. and evolves out of its wooden brain grote~q\le ideas. It not only stands with its feet on (he ground. Now. We are perhaps the last still fo have known such things. its unattainability. [Lettcrs of Rainer Maria Rilke. in fetishism.. revealed his apprehension before what was according to him a change in the status of objects: Even. not a single atom of matter penetrates to its value . Rainer Maria Rilke. are runningout and can no longer be replaced. their very clothes. an American apple or a grapevine over there. vol. man changes the forms of the materials of nature in such . has nothing in common with the house. there is nothing mysterious about it. 163-64] This' 'mystical character" that the product of labor acquires as soon as it takes on the form of the commodity depends. for which the product does not now represent only a use-value (its suitability to satisfy a determinate human need). The commodity thus presents more than a simply terminological analogy with the fetishes that are objects of perversion. by his activity. in relation to all other commodities. dummy life . Metamorphosed into identical sublimates. 1947). or that it first takes on these properties as the product of human labour. The form of wood. the material substrate of something else: the exchange value. it changes into a thing which transcends sensuousness. 1977). for instance. 1. vel. without making both visible in the same instant. empty indifferent things are pouring across. is altered if a table is made out of it... . 36 . according to Marx.. infinitely more intimate. an ordinary. but. because it is the sign of two contradictory realities." in a "plwntasmagoria . on an essential doubling of the relation to the object. the grape into which went the hopes and reflections of OU1' forefathers . so the owner of a commodity will never be able to enjoy it simultaneously as both useful object and as value: the material. trivial thing. but this use-value is. [Capital. things lived and conscient of us. (Inti it may be materially altered so far as to destroy it. constitutes what Marx calls the "fetishistic character" of the commodity. from America. W. which presents us now with one face now with another. their coat: were infinitely more. Insofar as they are crystals of this common social substance.

this nostalgia in Rilke translates into the program for a transformation of the world of visible things into the invisible. who looks directly before himself. who chose. coneludesthe catalogue) took it as his duty to place the public on its. and can increase our holdings in the invisible during our sojourn here . it is the metaphysical figure that succeeds the merchant. In the galleries and the pavilions of its mystical Crystal Palace.. in 1855. In the essay "The Armony [sic] of Colours as Exemplified in the Exhibition. and the very appropriate style of decoration chosen by Mr. " The Universal Exposition 2. The transfiguration of the commodity into enchanted object i« the sign that the exchange value is already beginning to eclipse the use-value of the commodity. for their part. From this point of view.things that goes beyond hoth the use-value and the exchange value. on the spoilsof the object. money was still gold. Owen Jones greatly adds to the general effect of the edifice. In an incredible eclecticism.. The example was later followed by Maner and in 1889 by Gauguin. we discover again the same nostalgia for usevalue that characterizes Marx's critique of the commodity. its spirit musthalt. In the period that I am treating (the fourteenth cen-tury).. before the marvels of industry. swathing the buildings of the Exposition in a luminous halo. metal. appears already consummated" (Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke 2:375). faced with the impossibility of a return to the past.. do the same. which we are accomplishing. and it is probable that his memory of that occasion contributed to his reflections on the character of the commodity-fetish. who organized a show of his own vwrks in a cafe not far from a SchoUa Rilke and things 1. have (at least) stock in it. uniformly grouped. "because even things. the Rilkean angel is the symbol of the transcendence in the invisible of the commodified object. " Even a passing glance at the illustrations of the catalogue produces an indefinite sense of discomfort that. A~ such." a peroration on the necessity of ornament. the mystery that has now become familiar to anyone who has entered a supermarket or been exposed to the manipulation of an advertisement: the epiphany of the unattainable? that creature in whom the transformation of the visible into the invisible'... in Hyde Park. the 1110stdistant parts of the building appear enveloped in a bluish halo . the most intelligible of all things." In Rilke. If seen in relation to the spectacle of the Exposition. something beautiful. in which from the outset place was also reserved for works of art.=in 118 alone can be consummated this intimate and lasting conversion of the visible into an invisible . The Guide to the Paris Exposition of 1867 reiterated the supremacy of this phantasmagorical character: "The public needs a grandiose concept that will strike its imagination." continues the previously cited letter to Hulewicz. a poet that certainly does not have the reputation of a revolutionary. "has no way out other than to become invisible: in us who with 8 part of our natures partake of the invisible.. Merrifield writes that the Crystal Palace "is perhaps the only building in the world in which the atmosphere is perceptible. Ruskin's decidedly unfavorable opinions of the Exposition of 1851 are in this sense symptomatic.. all the styles and all the periods are invited to feast. little by little. in the extratemporal temple of the 'commodity. To a spectator situated in the gallery at the eastern or western end. The organizers of the 185 j London Exposition were perfectly conscious of the phantasmagorical character of Paxton's palace. The angel of the Elegies is . "The world contracts. The "phantasmagoria" of which he speaks in relation to the commodity C81l be discovered in the intentions of the organizers. the cipher of a relarion to." Rilke writes. to display his works in a pavilion within sight of the Exposition grounds. guard against the arbitrary substitution of the object by ornament. in that they continuously displace their existence into the vibration of money. was in London in 1851 when the first Universal Exposition. as Rilke put it in one of the late poems: "When from the hand of the merchant I the scales pass I to the Angel in heaven ( they are appeased and balanced with space . As the "bluish halo" that envelops the Crystal Palace is but a visualization of the aura that bathes the commodityfetish. A certain intention to compete with the Exposition can be discerned in Courbet's decision. the Marxian theory of the fetishistic character of the conunodity=-which has appeared to at least one incautious modern reader as "a flagrant and extremely harmful Hegelian influence" (the infelicitous remark is Althusser'sj=-requires neither explication nor philosophical references. Nevertheless. Thus at the Universal Exposition was celebrated. the commodity is displayed to be enjoyed only through the glance at the enchanted scene. so the elephantiasis of ornament betrays the new character of the commodified objects." The postcards of the period increased the effect even more. It wishes to conrernplat« an enchanted scene (un coup d'oeil feerique) and not similar products. Paxton's project for an enormous the palace constructed entirely out of glass. developing a kind of spirituality that from this moment on outstrips their tangible reality." Marx.38 0 THE UNIVERSAL EXPOSlTION THE UNIVERSAL EXPOSITION [I 39 of the commodity-fetish." which accompanied the Exposition catalogue. the most easily handled. It is interesting to note that the first reactions of the intellectuals and artists to the Universal Exposition were generally of concealed distaste and aversion. Many of the objects displayed ate devoured by ornament to such an extent that Warnum (whose essay "The Exhibition as a Lesson in Taste. for the first time. In a letter of J 912. "The earth. from 81TIOng various possibilities presented. is shown to be caused by the monstrous hypertrophy of' ornament that transforms the simplest objects into nightmarish creatures (see figures 4 and 5). Rilke wrote of the change that had come over things in terms that closely recall Marx's analysis of the fetishistic character of the cornmodity. astonished. that is. Was inaugurated with great fanfare.

on the occasion of the fifth Universal Exposition. The Absolute We have an exceptional witness to the Paris Universal Exposition of 1855. whose elegant shape today seems inseparable from Paris. The construction in 1889. Meissonier. Like Bosch. of the Eiffel Tower. " It is no accident that the idea on which the sonnet "Correspondances" is based (a poem that is usually interpreted as the quintessence of Baudelairean esotericism) should be articulated at the beginning of the article on the 1855 Exposition. and although his articles do not apparently differ much from the reports he had written for the Salons of 1845 and 1846. "before a Chinese product." he answers. at the beginning of the second industrial revolution. Maupassanr. but for it to be understood it is necessary for the spectator to work in himself a transformation that is somewhat mysterious . and sometimes delicate to the point of evanescence?" "Nonetheless. For their part. drew from the transfi guration of the commodity during the Universal 41 . shapely in its form. intense in color. among whom were personalities as diverse as Zola. Charles Baudelaire left his impressions in a series of three articles that appeared at brief intervals in two Paris dailies. "What would a modern Winckelmann say. excited protest from a substantial group of artists. Commodity Of. Though Baudelaire restricted his comments to the fine arts. Chapter 8 Baudelaire. the organizers of the Exposition did not tire of entreating artists not to disdain "Ie voisinage des produits industriels qu'Ils ont si souvent enrichis et ou ils peuvent puiscr encore nouveaux elements dinspirntion et de travail" (the proximity of industrial products that they had so often enriched and from which they might still draw new elements of inspiration and labor)." he asks himself. who at the dawn of capitalism had drawn from the spectacle of the first great international fairs in Flanders the symbols to illustrate his mystical Adarnic conception of the millenarian kingdom. "it is a sample of universal beauty. and Bonnar They had probably realized what the fait accompli prevents us from perceiving today: that the tower (in addition to giving the coup de grace to the labyrinthine character of old Paris by offering a reference point visible everywhere) transformed the whole city into a commodity that could be consumed at a single glance. In the first article of the series [which carries the significant title "De I'idee moelerne ell! progres appliquee aux beaux arts" (On the modern idea of progress applied to the fine artsj] he describes the sensation created in an intelligent visitor by the spectacle of an exotic commodity and shows his awareness of the new kind of attention the commodity requires of the viewer. In the Exposition of 1889..40 ["J THE UNIVERSAL EXPOSITION the Exposition site. Baudelaire. the most precious commodity was the city itself. a strange and bizarre product.. we see on closer inspection that the novelties and the importance of the challenge offered to"the work of art by the commodity did not escape his prodigious sensitivity.

use-value from exchange value. was accomplished. in which the process of fetishization would be pushed to the point of annihilating the reality of the commodity itself as such. 1 The great novelty that the Exposition had made obvious to Baudelaire's perceptive eye was that the commodity had ceased to be an innocent object. Hence. ces fruits dent Je gout trompe et deplace les sens. never completed.42 0 THE ABSOLUTE COMMODITY THE ABSOLUTE COMMODITY 0 43 Exposition the emotional atmosphere and the symbolic elements of his poetics." the "metaphysical subtleties. For this reason Baudelaire seems to assign to the poet a paradoxical task: "he who cannot grasp the intangible. Baudelaire evokes. all that unknown vitality will be added to his own vitality. ofhuman dress). Seholia Correspondences and the commodity 1. That is. the work's traditional authority from its authenticity. he wanted to withdraw them from the tyranny of the economic and from the ideology of progress. toure cette vitalite inconnuc sera ajoutee sa vitalite propre. 3 Without his passion for feminine clothing and. 2 But what gives his discovery a genuinely revolutionary character is that Baudelaire did not limit himself to reproducing within the artwork the scission between use-value and exchange value. those fruits whose taste fools and displaces the sense... Baudelaire took up the challenge and carried the battle to the ground of the commodity itself. pendant qui leur forme taquine le regard." he approved of the new features that commodification impresses on the object and he was conscious of the power of attraction that they would inevitably have on the work of art. "ces odeurs qui ne sent plus celles du boudoir. those mysterious flowers whose deep color imperiously enters the eye while its form teases the glance. and had charged itself with that disturbing ambiguity to which Marx would allude twelve years later when speaking of the "fetishistic character. the Romantic poets as "selfannihilating nothingness. that art had to begin to give up the guarantees that derived from its insertion in a tradition. old and new. A commodity in which use-value and exchange value reciprocally cancel out each other. he divided." he writes in the essay on POl'. the borderline that separated them from works of art-s-the borderline that artists from the Renaissance forward had indefatigably worked to establish. This meant. Hence his implacable polemic against every utilitarian interpretation of the artwork and the ferocious zeal with which he proclaimed that poetry has no end except itself. le penetrera patiemment . is no longer a commodity: the absolute commodification of the work of art is also the most radical abolition of the commodity. ces fleurs rnysterieuses dont la couleur profonde entre dans l'oeil despotiqnement. that whole world of new harmonies will slowly enter him. but also proposed to create a commodity in which the form of value would be totally identified with the use-value: an absolute commodity. however. whose value therefore consists in its uselessness and whose use in its intangibility. tout ce monde d'harrnonies nouvelles entrera lentemcnt en lui. Once the commodity had freed objects of use from the slavery of being useful." and he defines the experience of creation as a duel to the death. he would perhaps not have dared to assign to art the most ambitious task that any human being has ever entrusted to one of his or her creations: the appropriation of unreality. The greatness of Baudelaire with respect to the invasion of the commodity was that he responded to this invasion by transforming the work of art into a commodity and a fetish. Baudelaire understood that if art wished to survive industrial civilization. Baudelaire could scarcely have emerged victorious from his encounter with the commodity. At the same time. so to speak. "where the artist cries out in terror before being overcome. quelques milliers didecs er de sensations enrichiront son dictiormaire de mortel" (those smells that are no longer those of the bedroom. for jewels and cosmetics (which he expresses without hesitation in the essay "Le peintre de la vie moderne' and to which he intended to devote a detailed catalogue. a He . for whose sake artists constructed the places and the objects in which the incessant welding ofpast and present.. too. whose enjoyment and perception were exhausted in the practical use of it.. et revele au palais des idees qui apartiennent a l'odorat. with regard to the impressions of the visitor before the exotic commodity. In this way the artist would succeed ill making the work the vehicle of the unattainable and would restore in unattainability itself a new value and a new authority. however. some thousands of ideas and sensations will enrich the dictionary of his mortal existence)." It is a stroke of luck that the founder of modern poetry should have been 11 fetishist. which began to draw toward the commodity the kind of interest traditionally reserved for the work of art." and' 'theological witticisms" of the commodity.. by basing the Supremacy of artistic creation on the "making" of the artisan and the Iaborer=-becarne extremely tenuous. will patiently penetrate him ." self-dissolution was the price that the work of art must pay to modernity. hair. Before the enchantment (jeerie) of the Universal Exposition. speaks with disdain of the pedant that. The aura of frozen intangibility that from this moment began to surround the work of art is the equivalent of the fetishistic character that the exchange value impresses on the cornmod ity. In the cited article. in order to make of its own self-negation its sole possibility of survival. the artist had to attempt to reproduce that destruction of use-value and traditional intelligibility that was at the origin of the experience of shock. The entire sonnet' 'Correspondences' can be read as a transcription of the estrangement produced by impressions of the Universal Exposition. As Hegel had already understood by defining the most advanced experiences of. "is no! a poet. within the work of art itself. Without the personal experience of the miraculous ability of the fetish object to make the absence present through its own negation. As he had implicitly admitted when speaking of the exotic product as a "sample of universal beauty. his insistence on the intangible character of the aesthetic experience and his theorization of the beautiful as an instantaneous and impenetrable epiphany.

Leon Daudet. A catalogue enumeration of the fetishist motifs in Baudelaire should include. 1968). though he had perceived the phenomenon through which the traditional value and authority of the work of art began to vacillate. 1952)J Bosch intended to express symbolically in his paintings. certain analogies with the erotico-industrial utopias of Fourier. like a mystical Land of Cockaygne. From this point of view. comme celle prodnire par le maillot. In Un autre monde (Another world) Grandville left us some of the most extraordinary ironic transcriptions (which is not to say that an ironic intention was foreign to Bosch where Adamic doctrines were concerned) of the prophecies of Pourier-for example. Benjamin and the aura 2. unjustly forgotten today. so foolishly excoriated by candid philosophers. 7.' Moreover. is unable to "courir avec agilite SUI" I'immense clavier des correspondances" (run with agility over the immense keyboard of correspondences) . she must astonish. "gild"] so that she will be adored. and winged human beings who adhere to the "butterflying" passion (see figures 6. In the essay 011 Constantin Guys. became charged with a new value. to restrict ourselves to what our period commonly refers to as makeup.. il faut qu'elle etonne. rnais. An enumeration of the means would be innumerable. the northern lights and seven artificial moons as children flying around in the sky. il me semble que je mange des souvenirs" (When I graze on your flexible. Baudelaire the fetishist 3. the passage in the essay "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" [see Benjamin. qu'elle charme. Harry Zohn (New York: Schocken Books'. Daudet's definition of Baudelaire as a "poet of the aura" is almost certainly the source of one of the central motifs of Benjamin's great study on Baudelaire. qui ne voit que l'usasge de la poudre de riz. it seems I am feeding on memories). has as its goal and result the disappearance from the hue of all the spots that uature has a . manifest.. Bosch transformed nature into' 'speciality. did not realize that the "decay of the aura" -the phrase with which he synthesized this process-in no way implied as a result "the liberation of the object from its cultural scabbard" or its grounding. confronted with the first massive appearances of the commodity. An idol." It should be recalled that the ideas on the aura of the author-physician Leon Daudet have been noted with interest by the psychiatrist E. in addition to his celebrated poem "Les bijoux" (Jcwelryj-> "La trcschere etait nue . whose unusual intelligence Benjamin appreciated while of course distrusting his cloddish political ideas. coats of arms) who. EUe doit done emprunter a tous les arts les moyens de s'elever audessus de Ia nature . si niaisemenr anarhcmatise par les philosophes canelides.. even the Garden of Delights of Hieronymus Bosch can be seen as an image of the universe transfigured by the commodity. the mystical Adamic theories that according to the interpretation ofW. but also from a French writer. and aware of my desire she had kept only her sonorous jewelsj= at least the prose poem "Un hemisphere dans nne chevelure. perfectly analogous to the exchange value. Walter Benjamin. Benjamin's considerations on odors are anticipated by Dander's intuition that "the olfactory is of our senses the closest to the aura and the best suited to give us an idea or a representation. For once. but.. Daudet's book La melancholia [sic] (1928) contains a meditation on the aura (which also appears with the name ambiance) that deserves more than a casual reappraisal. represented objects by alienating them from their contexts]. contemporary with Bosch. Like Grandville four centuries later [and as. The Millennium of Hieronymus Bosch: Outlines of a New Interpretation (London: Faber and Faber. nature transformed into the land of Cockaygnc. idole. L'enumeratiou en serait innombmblc. which is the summa of Baudelaire's poetics. and indeed she fulfills a kind of duty. and 8). Minkowski. trans. Benjamin had not obtained the concept of "aura" -one of his most typical concepts=-from mystical-esoteric texts alone. laquelle unite." and the mixture of organic and inorganic of his creatures and fantastic architecture seems to anticipate the [eerie of the commodity in the Universal Exposition. a pour but et pon!' resultar de faire disparaitre du teint toutes les taches que 1'1 nature y a outrageusement sernees. from that moment on. re-creating and exalting to the maximum its authenticity on another plane.. she must charm. She must then borrow from all the arts the means of raising herself above nature . 1947).44 U THE ABSOLUTE COMMODITY THE ABSOLUTE COMMODITY CJ 45 faced with such a spectacle. but rather the reconstitution of a new "aura" through which the object. the authors of the innumerable books of emblems and of blasons domestiques (domestic escutcheons. c'est dire d'un etre devin et superieur" (The women is well within her rights." whose concluding phrase contains more information on fetishism than an entire psychological treatise: "Quand je mordille tes cheveux lastiques et rebelles. et meme elle accompli! une espece de devoir en sappliquant a paraitre magique ct surnaturelle. et. trans. connaissant mon coeur I die n'avait garde qne ses bijoux senores' (The dearest one was naked. rebellious hair. Specifically. in her attempt to appear magical and supernatural. who cites them liberally in the chapter on the sense of smell in his Vers une cosmologie (Toward a cosmology) (1936). she must adorn herself [literally. in political praxis. has a precedent in Daudet's reflections on photography and the cinema as "transmitters of aura. elle doit se dorer pour etre adoree.. Fraenger [Hieronymus Bosch: Das tausendjiihrige Reich (Winklet-verlag. who cannot see that the use of rice powder. whose object is doubled by the commodity. 217-51] where Benjamin writes of old photographs as means to capture the aura. rap·· proche immediatement I'etre humain de la statue. Olfactory hallucinations are the rarest and most profound of all. pour nous resrreindre ce que notre temps appelle vulgairernent maquillage. Illuminations. In a certain sense. et de crecr une unite abstraite dans le grain et Ia couleur de la pean. the poet speaks of maquillage (makeup) in these terms: "La femme est bien dans son droit.

human feelings and intentions. to a divine and superior being). based on a text by his friend Forgues. the cipher of a new relation between humans and things. in a pair of pants that tears. They attempt to evade their uses. In a series of genially perverse illustrations. that the' 'relations of men and things have created confusion in the latter. the prophetic glance of Grandville discovers. and the creation of an abstract unity in the texture and color of the skin. The Appropriation of Unreality In 1843 Grandville published Petites miseres de La vie humaine. Chapter 9 Beau Brummell: or. which unity. In a leaky faucet that cannot be turned off. like that produced by hosiery [more specifically: the leotard. No one has shown better than be the human discomfort before the disturbing metamorphoses of the most familiar objects (see figure 9). they become animated with. Under his pen. immediately assimilates the human being to the statue. The eye is not surprised to discover them in lecherous attitudes.l 47 . that is to say. in a boot that can be neither completely put on nor taken off and remains tenaciously stuck on the foot. in a coverlet that does not cover. Grandville gave us one of the first representations of a phenomenon that would become increasingly familiar to the modern age: a bad conscience with respect to objects. beyond the simple fortuitous incident." The badhuman conscience with respect to commodified objects is expressed in the mise-en-scene of this phantasmagorical conspiracy. they become discontented and lazy. in an umbrella that reverses itself. objects lose their innocence and rebel with a kind of deliberate perfidy. to which end Grandville lends his pen. The degeneration implicit in the transformation of the artisanal object into the mass-produced article is COIlstantly manifest to modern man in the loss of his own self-possession with respect to things. in the sheets of paper scattered by a breath of wind. that is. the fear of their possible revenge. observed. who had described the same phenomenon in the episode of the coverlet from Notebooks oj Malle Laurids Brigge. with a revealing expression. the dancer's body stocking]. Rilke .46 0 THE ABSOLUTE COMMODITY outrageously sown there. The degradation of ohjeets is matched by human clumsiness.

The reproduction of the dissolution of thetransmissibility of culture in the experience of the shock thus becomes the last possible source of meaning and value for things themselves. the enjoyment of use is already an alienated relation to the object. The study of archaic economies has demonstrated that human activity is not reducible to production. but the destruction of art worked by art. who was actually frightened by the animated objects of Grandville and who thought of dandyism as a kind of religion. return to use-value. that the falsehood of the commodity is changed into truth. between "the man that sings" and "the man that sacrifices. through poetic transfiguration. To the capitalist accumulation of exchange value and to the enjoyment of the lise-value of Marxism and the theorists of liberation. The redemption that the dandy and the poet bring to things is their evocation of the imponderable act in which the aesthetic epiphany is realized. As it is only throughdestruction that sacrifice consecrates. the labor that it contains has been uselessly spent and therefore creates no value. according to Baudelaire's own words. so it is only through the estrangement that makes it unattainable. and it can be said that his whole critique of capitalism is conducted on behalf of the concreteness of the object of use against the abstraction of' the exchange value. and that archaic man seems in fact to have been dominated in all activity by what has been defined. commodities. "pro(hlction itself is directed in all its development toward use-value. and not exchange. understood that in this respect the poet (he who. in primitive cultures. a mana. would be the ideal of a society that had begun to experience a bad conscience with respect to objects. their original sin: the commodity" Baudelaire." What is certain is that he hated "repugnant usefulness" too much to think that the world ofthe commodity could be abolished by means of a simple. to hang on every word that fell from Beau Brummell's lips was the fact that he presented himself as the master of science that they could not do without. the thing was never simply an object of use. who makes of elegance and the superfluous his raison d'etre. Mauss's research shows that." According to Marx. 5 Mauss's studies on the potlatch and on ritual prodigality do not merely reveal what Marx did not know-that the gift. which decrees that the enjoyment of use-value is the original and natural relation of man to objects. What compelled the noblest names of England. but was endowed with a power. the one who wipes out. the dandy. as a principle of unproductive loss and expenditure. and through the dissolution of traditional intelligibility and authority. is the original form of exchange. the object is pulled away both from the enjoyment of its use and from its value as accumulation. For Baudelaire." Modern ethnography has discredited the Marxian prejudice that "no object can be invested with value if it is not something useful" and the idea serving as its basis. If it is useless. and it is therefore only through the exceeding of the measure in which usc-values are required for consumption that they cease to be use-values and become means of exchange. not toward exchange value." which means not the enjoyment of art for its own sake.servile use has degraded and profaned. For this reason Baudelaire saw a great analogy between poetic activity and sacrifice. As sacrifice restores to the sacred sphere what. the man who is never ill at ease." Marx's critique is limited in that he does not know to separate himself from the utilitarian ideology. The lesSOli that Baudelaire bequeathed to modern poetry is that the only way to go beyond the commodity was to press its contradictions to the limit. He is the redeemer of things." and he planned the composition of a "theory of sacrifice" of which the notes in Fusees arc but fragments. with his elegance. according to which the utilitarian principle is the psychological motive of economic life. consequently the possibility of a relation to things that goes beyond both the enjoyment of usevalue and the accumulation of exchange value escapes him. which goes beyond both the. perhaps with some exaggeration. in primitive societies. the gods existed only to give structure to the human need for sacrifice and self-expropriation. Baudelaire was perhaps alluding to behavior of this kind when he spoke of "a kind of dandy encountered hy the travelers in the forests of North America.48 0 THE APPROPRIATION OF UNREALITY THE APPROPRIATION OF UNREAUfY 0 49 It is perfectly understandable that the dandy. Archaic man gave gifts because he wished to lose. so. He thus writes in Capital that "capitalism is suppressed from the outset if it is postulated that the enjoyment. of goods is its motive force. equivalent to that of living beings. the dandy and . should know how to "rnanage the intangible") might have something to learn from the dandy. sacrifice and the gift always intervened to restore it to that order. teaches the possibility of a new relation to things. This requirement was so universally dominant that an ethnographerhas been able to affirm that. From the point of view of economic utilitarianism." Coherently with these premises. This is the sense of "art for art's sake. and the regent himself. conservation. Where the object had been withdrawn from its original sacred order. and his relation to objects was not governed by the principle of usefulness. as for the dandy. enjoyment of their use-value and the accumulation of their exchange value. To men who had lost their self-possession. 3 Marx evokes with a certain nostalgia the case of Robinson Crusoe and of the autarkic communities for whom exchange value is unknown and in which the relations between producers and things are therefore simple andtransparent. On the other hand. and is restored to its original status. these behaviors appear inexplicable. and not the accumulation. but by that of sacrifice. arid on the basis of them one might say that primitive man could attain the rank to which he aspired only through the destruction or negation of wealth. and was profoundly implicated in the religious sphere. scarcely different from commodification. to the point at which the commodity as such would be abolished and the object would be restored to its own truth. The Marxist analysis of the fetishistic character of the commodity is founded on the idea that "no object can be invested with value if it is not something useful. the enjoyment of use-value is opposed by Marx to the accumulation of the exchange value as something natural to something aberrant. and consumption.but also reveal a whole series of behaviors (which range from the ritual gift to the destructionof the most precious goods).

" the arabesque of Matisse that confuses human ftgures and tapestries. Fetish or grail. the quest of modern poetry points in the direction of that disturbing region where there are no longer either men Of gods." in the military decorations transformed into marine plants. Thus. writes that "making himself a dandy. appears." Apollinaire perfectly formulated this proposition in Les peinires cubistes. to the "nacreous snail's trace" of Eugenio Montale and "the head of medusa and the Robot" of Paul Celan. where he writes that "above all. In modern poetry. who was fascinated and frightened by the' 'illegitimate crossings" of Grandville and who saw in his designs "nature transformed into apocalypse. site of an epiphany or a disappearance. entitled "L'ange du bizarre" (The angel of the bizarre) he makes an improbable creature of nightmare appear." Baudelaire'S antihumanism. as a mass-consumption commodity. the artist now puts on the inhuman mask of the commodity and abandons the traditional image of the human. After having transformed the work into a commodity. Poe was among the first to register this new relation between man and objects." Barbey d'Aurevilly made the same remark about George Brummell: "He elevated himself to the rank of object. a funnel." Baudelaire. "the human doesn't come into it" of Gottfried Benn ." Because of having refused to believe in the existence of the creature. and in the anguished chain reaction of metamorphoses that populate his "otherworld. confronted with a world that glorifies man so much the more it reduces him to an object. Rimbauds prograrnmatic exclamation "I is an other" (je est un autre) must be taken literally: the redemption of objects is impossible except by virtue of becoming an object." in the eyes removed from their sockets. in the personified musical instruments. a creature essentially nonhuman and antihuman. or. a kind of tobacco case. Lautreamont's "it is a man Of a stone or a tree. man becomes a piece of boudoir furniture." And BAudelaire compared dandyism (which for him was of a piece with the exercise of writing poetry) to the" most severe monastic rule. two barrels) and which presents itself as "the genius that presides over the annoyances and bizarre incidents of humanity. As the work of art must destroy and alienate itself to become an absolute commodity." spoke of him with a kind of reverent fear. two bottles. the artistic center of gravity has never been in the human sphere. the protagonist of the tale is led on by a series of insignificant incidents until he nearly has one foot in the grave." The creative activity and the creator cannot be spared the process of alienation. In these two stylistic procedures thc prophetic excellence of Grandville excels: they are confused and add up to a single disquieting effect in the "animated flowers. the ancestor of the Odradek bobbin of Kafka." the marionette of Kleist. "my ardor is rather of the order of the dead and the unborn" from Klee." Balzac. entrusted to poetry over a century ago by its first lucid devotees. an extremely ingenuous mannequin. translated by Baudelaire. a presence that possesses at once the fixed materiality of a dead body and the phanromatic elusiveness of a living one." he writes in Quelques caricaturistesfrancais (Some French caricaturists). modern poetry unmasks the humanitarian ideology by making rigorously its own the bautru]« that Balzac puts in George Brummell's mouth: "Nothing less resembles man than man. which Grandville had anticipated in the Louvre des marionettes (The puppet museum). in which Olympia. in his Traite de fa vie elegante (Treatise of the elegant life). It is therefore not surprising that Offenbach should have chosen as the libretto of one of his most fortunate operettas The Tales of Hoffmann. What reactionary critics of modern art forget when they reproach it with dehumanization is that during the great periods of art. "whom Grandville amuses. as it was already in the time of Bosch. figures beyond the human! Whatever the name given to the object of its search.50 D THE APPROPRIATION OF UNREALITY THE APPROPRIATION OF UNREALITY 0 51 modern poetry oppose the possibility of a new relation to things: the appropriation of unreality. rising incomprehensibly over itself like a primitive idol." What is new about modern poetry is that. in the' 'ironic utopia . the irresistible order of the Old Man of the Mountain. the emergence into the foreground of the creative process. it reveals and once again dissolves itself in its own simulacrum of words until the program of alienation find knowledge. the genre of "disturbing" literature. whose body is constituted by utensils joined together in a vaguely anthropomorphic manner (a small flask of wine. of redemption and dispossession. enchanting and terrify- ing. he terrifies me. artists are men who wish to become inhuman. and its establishment as an autonomous value independent or the work produced (Valery: "Why not conceive of the production of a work of art as a 7 work of art in itself?") is above all an attempt to reify the nonreitiable. where there is but a presence. As for myself. constantly tending toward an other. in the "heraldic animals. As usual. all express the same need: there arc still. The discomfort of man with respect to the objects that he himself has reduced to "appearances of things" is translated. who commanded his adepts to commit suicide. will be accomplished. the chilly animated puppet of Hoffmann's Sandmann. The world of Odradek 1. The condition of success of this sacrifici al task is that the artist should take to its extreme consequences the principle of loss and self-dispossession. each creature to its familiar environment. "Mallarm6's "I am truly decomposed. "There are superficial persons. so the dandy-artist must become a living corpse. Rimbaud's call "to make one's soul monstrous." At this moment was born. The theme of the portrait that comes to life. Scholia Grondvilliana. In a tale. into the suspicion of a possible "animation of the inorganic" and into the placing in doubt of the bond that unites each thing to its own form. is developed by Gautier in a story that was to be imitated in innumerable variations. at once sacred and miserable. which relies on the discomfort and unconfessed fears of the reader.

Brummelliana 2.52 0 THE APPROPRIATION OF UNREALITY THE APPROPRIATION OF UNREALITY [J 53 . who was among the first to examine the mechanism of Beau Brummell's wit. At the same time. All of his bons mots are founded on a single circumstance. a lithography of Max Ernst reads: "Un nouveau monde est ne. With an asceticism that equals the most mortifying mystical techniques. of which he finds notable examples in two topics dear to Grandville: the eye out of its socket and the animated puppet." Marx and use-value 3. managing to take it. may Grandville be praised).inhahited." and "in the folds of a collar there can be more pathos than fools imagine." he would explain. precisely to the uncanny (Das Unheimliche.acute contemporaries.. Brown and the other theorists of "liberation. Beau himself. ~in short. to an almost invisible point.') is based on the assumption of a radical difference between an item of clothing and a "thing.invented by Beau Brummell was rigorous in the elimination of any intentionality: it is related that his valet Robinson could be seen every evening emerging from the dressing room. The liberty style." Brummell's jacket is opposed to the "thing" as the commodity is to the useful object. In the abolition of any trace of subjectivity from his own person. he constantly cancels from himself any trace of personality. 1964). also on a sacred instrument. "with its cartiluginous and swollen members. This is the extremely serious sense of a number of his witticisms. so to speak. he still seemed to consider use-value as something unnatural on apar with exchange value. no one has ever reached the radicalism of Beau Brummell. like the accidental folds of a cravat. etc. such as "Robinson. abolishing it in a kind of dialectical Aujhebung (sublation)." although recognizing that Marx neither explained what was meant by "excess of . his arms laden with barely wrinkled neckwear. in his novel Per/ham. claim as his own discovery the introduction of chance into the artwork so widely practiced in contemporary ali" (see figure 10). like Hazlitt . In the Manuscripts of 1844. Freud dedicated an ample study. which transforms dead matter into an organic creature. surrealism would make estrangement the fundamental character of the work of art. but rather something that has always been familiar to the psyche and that only the process of distancing has rendered other. Grandville was claimed by the surrealists as their precursor. worn. the arms seem to be muscular limbs that seize and immobilize' '). the exaggeration of the purest trifles into something important . This is true of even the most .. is raised to an indescribable essence. Of~ The Adventures of a Gentleman (whose protagonist is a reincarnation of Beau) wrote about the "trifles" of the dandy: "Flowers may be woven not only in an idle garland. the jacket overtakes the commodity itself and renders transparent.worthy of a Zen master. It is curious that N. A few decades later. The position of Marx on this point is not clear and was modified over time.. the absence of every kind of bad conscience with respect to objects explains the almost ascetical sobriety of Beau's wardrobe and his foundation of the criterion of elegance on elusive nuances." The refusal to acknowledge the degradation of commodified artifacts f/acticia) is expressed cryptographically in the menacing aura that surrounds the most familiar things. 139]. appears to us a living organism. suppressing any ambiguous survival of use-value. Natural and unnatural needs 4. lifts this discomfort into a stylistic principle ("a washbasin of Pankok . but. destined to have a second existence in the age of advanced mechanical development. with felicity or pain. When Hermann Obrist designs an easy chair. its fetishistic character. which cannot be grasped or defined in utilitarian terms. O. que Grandville soit loue (A new world is made. of a permanent domination of capital" (which is Benjamin's characterization of the operetta).' a benevolent critic of that new style wrote in 1905. whom some of the greatest poets of modernity have not disdained to consider their teacher. apparently so ordinary. ln a period that submitted hypocritically to the elephantiasis of ornament. "Private property. which appeared in the fifth volume of Imago and whose conclusions arc highly significant." thanks to which a useful item like a coat. from this point of view. which that critic defined as "rniuimalisnr": "He has arrived at the minimum of wit.. with which it is not possible to feel safe. eaten. also related in the variant' 'What are these things on your feet?." he writes. Contemporaries could not be aware that the ultimate foundation on which the Brummell phenomenon rested was the commodification of the real. One of the most celebrated remarks of Beau Brummell (' 'Do you eall this thing a coat?". with his exaggeration of the irrelevant. the dandy reinvents a particular kind of use-value. Byron once said that he would have preferred to be Brummell than Napoleon (the spirit of the world in the boudoir set against the spirit of the world on horseback: it is no small compliment). drunk. "has made us so stupid and one-sided that an object is only ours when we have itwhen it exists for us as capital. their significance is so attenuated that 'nothing lives' between them and nonsense: they are suspended on the edge ·of the void and in their shadowy composition they are very close to nothingness . What is more. discovered in the novels of Hoffmann). or when it is directly possessed. is manifest the menacing presence of the animated object. when it is used by us" [The Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 (New York: International Publishers. which of the lakes do I prefer?" That something very significant for the spirit of the age was revealed in Beau Brummell did not escape his more intelligent contemporaries. as in the thyrsus of antiquity. His is truly the art of extracting something from nothing. can. "They are our failures. Bulwer-Lytton. The technique of tying a cravat. Freud saw in the uncanny (Unheimliche) the distanced familiar (heimfirhe): "This uncanny is not in reality anything new or strange.

" finishes by paradoxically commodifying spiritual activity itself [see Tristan Tzara. the anticharactcrs) in which modern artists have represented themselves: Igitur-Doctor Faustroll--Monsieur Croche= Stcphen Dedalus-i-Monsieur the Vivisectionist-e-Plume=-Loplop. Antihumanist traits are evident in an imaginary genealogical tree of the characters (or. Besides. in the attempt to abolish art by realizing it. What is most revolutionary in modern art with regard to the theorists of liberation is the understanding. but. but antihumanistic. 1931]. on the creative process) with respect to the work and which led to a kind of constant negative reference between expression and the unexpressed. whose magisterial "Essai sur Ie don" (Essay on the gift) (L'annee sociologique. the most successful attempt at the long poem in contemporary poetry: "The writing is nothing. from the outset. writing in Larleshvmanizacidn del arte . These theorists thus substitute for the bourgeois repression of the "natural" a moralistic repression of the superfluous. in his essay on the "Problem of Lyricism" (1951). Ortega y Gasser. appear to bring to the process of creation the same interest they bring to the work itself. comparable to a mental reserve. Eclipse of the work 7. did not simply oppose ritual prodigality and the potlatch to the utilitarian principle. which was founded precisely on the assumption of the superiority of the artist (that is. Bataille and unproductive expenditure 5. The same can be said of the situationisrs who. Mauss. The polemic of modern art is not directed against man. art historians arc scarcely immune from the process of dehumanization." It is interesting to observe that the reification of the creative process is born precisely from the refusal of rcification implicit in every work of art. .54 (J THE APPROPRIATION OF UNREALITY THE APPHOPRIATION OF UNREALITY u 55 use-value" nor understood the sacred origin of money. The most rigorous attempt to define this principle and found upon it a science of economy is found in Bataille's essay' 'La notion de depense' (The notion of expenditure) (La critique sociale. "Essai sur la situation de poesie' (Essay on the situation of poetry). perhaps. . n.Tlis Paterson is. trans. more wisely. should nevertheless ap~ peal to common sense in affirming the necessity of distinguishing between natural and unnatural needs. The elaboration of the formal method in the second half of thc past century (which can be summarized inWolfflin's famous remark that the essence of the Gothic style is as evident in a pointed shoe as in a cathedral) is obvious proof. the being I in a position to write . taken up and developed later in La part maudite (1949) [The Accursed Share. 7. as Edgar Wind acutely observed. with The Age of Anxiety of Au den. William Carlos Williarns. is nine tenths I of the difficulty. . Thus Dada. demonstrated the inadequacy of this opposition in accounting for social behavior. January 1933). it is not antihuman. not antihuman 8. finish rather by extending it to all human existence. rather. The origin of this phenomenon is probably to be found in the theories of Schlegel and Solger on so-called Romantic irony. Genealogy (~the antihero t 6. An analogous preoccupation can be noted in one of the masters of the new American poetry. from Poe to Mallarme to Valery and Pound. that all modern poets. but against his ideological counterfeiting. Gottfried Berm rightly observes. between the necessary and the superfluous. Antihumanistic. 1988)]. Robert Hurley (New York: Zone Press. chief of birdsWerflironne---Adrian Leverkuhn. that only by pushing to the extreme limits both "unnatural need" and "perversion" could one rediscover oneself and overcome repression. 1923-24) was behind the idea of Bataille. which seeks constantly to deny the artistic object and to abolish the very idea of the "work. was perfectly conscious of this fact and it is curious that his authority should have been invoked to criticize the antihumanism of modern art.

the violation of the use-value. even if not apparently sanctioned.. unconscious. shake them. announces a new transformation of the facticla produced by human labor. In "Tbc Moral of the Toy. In our culture. we traversed several rooms. nightcaps. It [the doll] makes us almost indignant at its tremendous and crass forgetfulness. to this end. without touching them. after the transformation of things endowed with religious power into useful objects and of useful objects into commodities. leather objects.THE TOY FAIRY [] 57 Chapter 10 Mme Panckoucke: Of. as an article of mass consumption and subsequently as the choice of perverse desire in the intimacy of sexual life. we who have allowed ourselves to The history of the semantic migration of the term "fetish" conceals some instructive insights. followtng "a first metaphysical tendency.that is the basis of artistic creation as of every relation between human and objects. What is initially confined to the otherness of a "savage" culture as "something Sf) absurd that it offers hardly any purchase to the discourse that would combat it" returns first. The proliferation of cases of fetishism at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth (cutters of braids. he saw the emblem of the relationship-cof impenetrable joy mixed with stupefied frustration··· . coprophiliacs. lingerie. as in a museum. the simple transfer of one object to the sphere of another is sufficient to render it unrecognizable and dis56 . for Marx. but above all in those who. impenetrable and. Once again. the system of (he rules that codify a type of repress ion that the theorists of liberation have not yet considered: that which exercises itself on objects and fixes the norms of their use. breaks forth. In children who transform a chair into a stagecoach. it concerned the transfer of a material object into the impalpable sphere of the divine. like ka. who appeared to me as the Toy Fairy. the deviation of desire from its proper object. The map of the migration of the concept of fetishism traces thus.. turn the toys in their hands. until we would dry up again. The walls were no longer visible. he recounts his visit. abandoning it in some hedge . Dolls fed on fictitious food. and fetishists of footwear. has always constituted a part of our relation to it. like spoiled children. furs. at the extreme stage of a precocious plumpness. Are we not singular creatures. and finally words and symbois) goes hand in hand with the complete commodification of objects and. The entrance of an object into the sphere of the fetish is always the sign of a transgression of the rule that assigns an appropriate USe to each thing. for Binet and Freud. and finally eviscerate them and tear them to pieces ("but wher« is the soul?" ~and this is where torpor and sadness set in). It is because of this adventure that 1 cannot pause before a toy shop and scan the inextricable medley of the bizarre forms and disparate colors without thinking of the woman. the doll lies before us unmasked like the horrible strange body on which we have dissipated our purest warmth. rings.. The ceiling disappeared under an efflorescence of toys that hung down like marvelous stalactites. The floor scarcely yielded a small path on which to walk. The Toy Fairy quieting. dressed in velvet and fur. that hatred that. A text like Rilke's on dolls eloquently proves that children maintain a fetishistic relation to their toys." wish rather "to see the soul" and. mourning crepe. in the economic sphere. strike them against the wall. as ready-made products demonstrate. it was Baudelaire who noticed that an intelligent artist might find in toys material for reflection. It is easy to identify this transgression: for de Brasses. sniffers of clothing." published in the Mende litteraire of 17 April 1853. so covered they were with toys. every time that one attempted to make them ingest it... wigs. befouling themselves. The evocation of this infantile recollection offered Baudelaire tile pretext for a classification of the possible USes and abuses of toys. Then she opened the door of a room that offered me an extraordinary spectacle. But objects exist that have always been destined to such a particular function that they can be said to be withdrawn from all rules of usc.. with reality. spots on lingerie. like the drowned corpse painted on the surface that allowed itself to be lifted up and borne along by the floods of our tenderness. iu those who meticulously order their toys. I am speaking of toys. Developing Baudelaire's observations on toys. together. as a child. this system of rules is so rigid that.to handy and grateful objects. Rilke juxtaposed dolls~ "soulless supports" and "empty sacks" _·. worthy of a fairy tale. to the house of a certain Mrne Panckoucke: She took me by the hand and. . incapable of absorbing at any point even a single drop of water . in filigree.

" The topology that is here expressed tentatively in the language of psychology has always been known to children.58 0 THE TOY FAIRY THE TOY fAIRY [] 59 be guided to place our first inclination where it remains deprived of hope? With respect to things. "savages. soul of the doll. If the foregoing is true. the doll is. The Greek word 'ago/lila. As Kerenyi writes (Agalma. however. sojourn." in whose "potential space" they will subsequently be able to situate themselves both in play and in cultural experience. Things that to us appear as toys were originally objects of such seriousness that they were placed in the tomb to accompany the deceased during the otherworldly . things are not properly anywhere. like the toy. ex voto. for the Greeks. as in a test tube. or the like) that the child separates from external reality and appropriates." Willamowitz tells of archaic statues that bear the inscription Chares. If one keeps in mind how much Rilke had written on the eclipse of authentic "things" and on the task falling to the poet to transfigure them into the invisible. infinitely lesser. always encounter great difficulties in distinguishing the doll-toys from all the other images and statuettes that excavations restore in almost industrial quantities . but in a "third area. the jouets d'Allemagne (German playthings). it could never be said where you really were"). because it is the inexhaustible object of our desire and our fantasies ("in it [the doll] we would mix.. fetishists. but. on the one hand. but to something that Winnicott defined as "the area of illusion. but where we find ourselves suddenly facing these apparently so simple unknowns: the human. neither personal nor impersonal. The localization of culture and play is therefore neither within nor outside of the indi vidual. then their situation in the world of objects is also not as definite as it seems. Winnicott's research onthe first relations between the child and the external world have led to the identification of a kind of object. and the petites besognes d'Italie (little Italian necessities). toys send us still further back in time. in which the divinity takes part no less than man. expresses well this original status of human [acticia (products. the thing. which must be translated "1 am Chares. which Rilke. and other fetishists can give us precious information.about which the dead. at once absent and present. "this term does not indicate. 'agalma toti Apollonos. apparently properly belong neither to the internal and subjective nor to the external and objective spheres. As the name shows ibimbelot. They are therefore held and comprehended from the outset in the topos outopos (placeless place. neither material nor immaterial. whatever unknowable things happened to us. the perpetual source of an event. If we attempt to find out their origin. It is in this "third area" that a science of man truly freed of every eighteenth-century prejudice should focus its study.' the object that has lost its weight "in the hands of the merchant" and has not yet transformed it~e[f in the hands of the angel. But from this also derives the doll's aptitude for providing us with information on the essence of the thing that has become an object of desire." distinct both "from interior psychic reality and from the effective world in which the individual lives. then the treasure guarded in Mrne Panckoucke's room points to a more originary status of the thing. which we would see boil up and turn colors there"). simple and reassuring. Scbolia Where is the thing? l . The question "where is the thing?" is inseparable from the question "where Is the hurrian?" Like the fetish. the collectors of dolls and miniature objects. funerary ritual. As Aries writes: The historians of toys. of cases these had a religious significance: domestic ritual. rather. exultation." The etymological meaning of 'agalma (from 'agllomai) is "joy. in measurable external space.. no-place place) in which our experience of being-in-the-world is situated. of cloth. man-made objects). statue and joy of Apollo. In the greater number. and whose place is "in the zone of experience which is between the thumb and the teddy-bear. eikon. they open to us the original place solely from which the experience of measurable external space becomes possible." . children. the doll. with his morbid sensitivity to relationships with things. between oral eroticism and the real objeer-relation. the bibelots that burdened eighteenth-century interiors and that today populate petit-bourgeois decors are but a residue of these toys for adults. because their place is found on this side of objects and beyond the human in a zone that is no longer objective 01' subjective. Until the eighteenth century." that comprises the first things (pieces of bed linen. because it is distant and beyond our grasp (' 'of you only. Aries. The greater antiquity of tombs that contain miniature objects with respect to those that contain real objects shows that the presence of the former is by no means a consequence of substitution based on "economic" motives (see figures II and 12)." and poets." These objects. If toys ate not. which designated statues. like neutral objects (ob-jecta) of use and exchange. appears then as the emblemsuspended between this world and the other-of. from bimbe. 1962).' Things are not outside of us. but . something solid and determinate. eidolon in Archivio di filosofia. perhaps precisely because of this. From this derives its disturbing character. as is apparent. adult Europe avidly sought out miniature objects: dollhouses. it is on the other hand infinitely more. baby). registered almost unawares. to a moment when they cannot be distinguished from other things. by him defined as "transitionnl. 'eim. on which Rilke projects the implacable memory of a terrible infantile frustration. and so on. in a chapter of his book Llenfant et fa vie familiale SOilS l'Ancien Regime (Family life and the child under the ancien regime) informs us that the border between toys and objects for adults has not always been as rigid as might be imagined.

however.. In the presence of these statutes it is wholly impossible to decide if we find ourselves before "objects" or "subjects. This is the more true if we take. Meienrolia J. Only in this perspective will future anthropology he able to arrive at a definition of the status of the cultural object and to localize in its topo» precisely the products of human "making. . the same is true of every human creation.60 D THE TOY FAIRY The genitive is here subjective and objective in exactly the same degree. be it statue or poem . but also of that between human and nonhuman. Diirer. any object whatsoever from a primitive culture: such an object stands on this side not only of our distinction between subjective and objecti ve . At the limit." because they gaze at us from a place that precedes and transcends our distinction SUbject/object. rather than 11 Greek statue. " 1.

3. Prado. De sacris Ars}pfnrir(m notis.m·ti!io (bat). in Ori Aro!lini' Niliaci. Rubens Hcraciitn: at fI. 1574.Mr/(JiltiJo/ir Madrid. V"'l. .2.

"mc Fourier (The system of Fourier) .1strmionfrom Un outre monde. Grandville.\"t. S)".. ill\lstrnl.8.Qns from Un mitre mot/de (Another world).i11l. . de 6-7. Grandville.

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146v). 6Zv). 16.. Oxford. 12592.'i()r). Iol. 17. fr. Stories o[Pygm . The Lover aru! fit" r'i1(lgc (Ms. l. fol. Pygllln/irm anrt the Image (Ms. Douce 195. Bibliorhcqnc . Bodleinn Library. fol. !ir>rr (Ms. Nanonnle. Paris. V'licncin. 387.18.

22. "Fol <lIJlO1!/" 20. ]1<'I1/1S (md the [mage (Ms. 135v). Ihe Imag». )d(llnlry. FCliIIS ((lid tl« Image (Ms. Valencia. fro 380. The Lover. fol." detail from the left side of the ccntrul portal of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame. anr! thr Rose (Ms 387. 146v). !44r). . Valcncta. Paris. Biliorheque l). Nationalc 21.1'01. Paris. 387. foJ.19.

".inis Niliaci. hil1h .. Lovers (7\·ldolotrrs.Yf'lnnllR notis. from Ori Apoll.!"tributer! 10 the M""cl" of Suint Martin.23. 24·25. Louvre. . lndustrion: Mall and The Future Work.r .!vE. Paris. De sacris Acr.. 1574.

it will be annihilated along with the world. . Proteus. Love Is I/.. from J.111 Part III The Word and the Phantasm: The Theory of the Phantasm the Love Poetry of the Duecento Manibus Aby Warburg et Robert Klein "Der gute GOlf steckt im Delair" geniisque Henry Corbin et Jacques Lacan "C' est li miroers perilleIL1'" [ormando di disio nova persona Guido Cavalcanti 26. Whlll is Grave.L CaIZ. DeNglus. Simon Magus Les polissons sont amoureux... Futhcr . from . Baudelaire 27.{Fltgnwe. Ce17. les poetes sons idoldtres. ['rIllCIIS (Rotterdam 1627). If the spirit does 110t become an image.

The hastily expedited messengers reach her on Mount Cithaeron as she lounges in the company of Adonis. Love's army. from Ovid's Metamorphoses. after fruitlessly attempting to reduce the castle in which the flower is guarded. Venus. has drawn up her dress above her ankles ["Ia sua roba ha soccorciata. the defenders of the keep. calls the goddess Venus to its aid. the edition of the Ramal! attributed to Clement Marot introduces this passage with the concise but eloquent rubric: "Ci commence la fiction I de l'ymage Pigmalion" (Here begins the tale I of the statue of Pygmalion). which Jean even recalls literally. At their refusal. Above all Pygmalion's falling in love is described so as to recall at every step of the way the Jol amour (mad love) of the courtly love poets. At this decisive point in his narrative. On her golden coach. rendering almost literally Jean's "10r8 a'est Venus haut secourciee" (then Venus girded herself up high)]. The story of the sculptor in love with his statuederives. the tension in the reader before the happy conclusion of the poem. drawn by doves and embellished with pearls. in her fury. to surrender.rran known as the Fiore. Jean de Mcung begins a digression of more than five hundred verses. as when the unhappy sculptor bewails his love for "une yrnage 63 ." says the author of the Italian imitation of the Ro. through delay.Narcissus and Pygmalion Chapter 11 Toward the end of the Roman de la Rose. the goddess swiftly reaches the battlefield and menacingly orders Shame and Fear. in its general outlines. but Jean gives it such a rich and peculiar treatment that it is permissible to suppose that the digression is more than a rhetorical expedient to increase. in which the poem's protagonist is enlisted. takes up her bow and prepares to shoot her incendiary shaft at the castle. whom the poet represents with channing realism as an angry woman who.

and so cold' that when I touch to kiss her I wholly freeze my mouth. If we did not know that (at least in the case of the footwear) a reference to trouhadour lyric is at stake. 20843-20855). I that neither changes nor moves) and adds that she "ne ja de moi rnerci n'avra" (will never have mercy [concede her favors] on mej. he does not give her boots because she isn't Paris-born. virgin). thus punctiliously elaborating a scene in which the lover tries different garments and items of footwear on his pucclle (girl. a menuz pelles.! This is almost a stereotypical formula of troubadour lyric. In his monologue. now weeps. I find my friend stiff like a stick.] The description of putting clothing on the naked statue is dispatched in three verses by Ovid. And with great care he fits her on both feet with hose and shoes beautifully chased two fingcrhrcadths from the floor. now he torments himself. (vv. now disturbed. 20901-20906) [Thus Pygmalion struggles and his strife has no peace or truce He does not rest in one state: now he loves. 20871-20876) [because when J want to please myself and embrace and kiss her. and purple and thin beautiful fillets of silk and gold. green. we need only think of "Ja n'aura un jor Imerci de moi" (She will never one day have mercy on me) of Gaucelm Faidit or "celeis don ja pro non aurai" (she from whom I will never gain advantage) of Bernart de Ventadorn? In the delicate verse of Ovid there is no trace of sadness. or pleure or est liez. but the passion of Pygmalion is already here unmistakably that ambiguous mixture of not disinterested hope and grim desperation that the Stilnovisrs would call dottanra (anxious doubt): Ainsinc Pygmalion estrive n'an son estrif n' a pes ne trive En un estat point ne demeure: or aime. and he describes crudely the attempts and frustrations of a passion that is trap horrible: car quant je me veull aesier et d'acoler et de besier. In general the entire scene seems to place the emphasis on the morbid and perverse character of the love for the ymage (image or statue). red. or het.] . a deus doie du pavemant. et trecoers gentez et grelles de saie et d'or. et si tres froide que. (vv 20932-20968) [Another time he desires to lake all off her and fits her with bows yellow. je truis mamie autresine roide comme est uns pex. (vv. Et par grant antanro Ii chance en chascun pie soler et chaucc. now laughs. or se tourrnente. with little pearls.3 and 14). which at one and the same time resembles the sin of lust and a kind of religious cult. nne mout prccieuse estache. which was certainly even more foolish (see vv. or rit.64 [) NARCISSUS AND PYGMALION NARCISSUS AND PYGMALION D 65 sourde el mue I qui ne se erole ne se mue" (a deaf and dumb statue.:' we would be surprised to find here such episodes of fetishism as would be characteristic of a novel of Restif: Autre foiz li reprent corage d'oster tout et de metre guindes jaunes. quant por lui besier j touche toute me refredist la bouche. or se rapese. now he is happy. antailliez joliveternent. and above the crest a crown of beaten gold with nwny precious stones. et desus Ia crespine estache . but Jean lingers over this passage for more than seventy. and under the crest he attaches a very precious ribbon. trop par fust rude chaucernante a pucele de tel jouvante. or est a meSGSI':. et par desus la crespinete nne courone d'or grellete ou mout ot precieuses pierres . verz et indes. n' est pas de houseans estrenee car el ri'iert pas de Paris nee. Pygmalion compares himself to Narcissus in love with his own form (see figures 1. verrneilles. now calms himself. now hates.

we give to a love of this kind. in this poem where according to the principles of allegory everything is animated and personified. but serves to introduce and make more accessible the conclusive episode of the poem that immediately follows it. qu'rl n'i failloit ne plus ne mains. however repugnant it seems to us: the lover. 18 and 19) is the bust of a naked woman. who. Ms. directs himselftoward it in the guise of a pilgrim. and takes her between his arms and beds her. 387. non pas. and the archiere is placed exactly where the female sex ought to be. si la couche antre ses braz dedanz sa couche." the mirror is identified with the fountain of Love. Ms. 387. The ymagc (Valencia. the columns serving for legs. The poet. 1569-1595). The target at which the goddess aims is a kind of arrowslit (une archiere. 150r (see figure 16). 146r. for example. Douce 195. at times (as in Douce 364. Oxford. Pygmalion is represented both as the foolish lover who caresses his naked statue lasciviously and lies down next to her. this also results. fols. trop grosse on trop grelle. introduces us to a knight= a model of courtesy and prowess=-whom Love has . and as a faithful devotee kneeling in ecstatic adoration before the ymage (in Douce 195. both Objects of the same mad passion. neither too fat nor too thin. 144r. almost ceremonial character of Pygmalion's love as described by Jean is not just an impression of the modern reader by referring to the illustrations of the ancient manuscripts of the poem. were further proof needed. fol. semireclining between the ruins of the castle of Love next to the overthrown idol. and hands that there was no need of more or less. after kneeling down. 153v) in an interior that strongly resembles a church. in lieu of prey. but it's not good form when two people kiss each other and the kisses don't please both equally. Afterward. while the defenders flee on all sides. Inaugurating a tradition that typically defines the medieval conception of love. or Valencia.] When the incendiary shaft penetrates the arrowslit and sets fire to the castle. but sculpted all with such proportion of arms. d'espaules et de mains. Ms. Remaining within the limits or Old French Iiterature. it is precisely this statue that unexpectedly reveals itself to be the object of the amorous quest of the protagonist. (vv. from the fact that the story actually is not a digression. Once again the ancient illustrators of the Roman represented the Scene without false modesty. But what meaning can. then love for the ymage will appear as the proper ruling motif of the Roman. qui n'iert trop haute ne trop basso. 20769-20774) [a statue.f the story of Pygmalion and his statue is paralleled by the episode of the dcmoisiaus (pubescent male) in love with his image reflected in a mirror. using his staff in place of his virile member. fol. see vv. simulates a coupling with the statue. shoulders. The narrative that follows leaves little doubt about what is happening. In. neither too high nor too low. as appropriate for a husband on his wedding night. With a symmetry that for numerous reasons appears calculated. we find it in one of the most delicate works of thirteenth-century love poetry. is the object of love represented by an inert image and not by a flesh-and-blood woman? The topic of love for an image is not infrequent in medieval Romance literature. the little poem that bears the title "Lai de l'ombre" (Lay of the reflection). 146v. see figures 17. mes ce n' est pas de bone escole quant Il persones s'antrebesent et li besier aus II ne plesent." . 149v. We had left Venus as she prepared to fire her arrow. and what does the ymage represent? And why. pushes his staff into the arrowslit (see also figures 20 and 21). and he kisses her again and hugs her. see figure 15). from a reflected image to an artistically constructed one. at the same time. fo1.] A grotesque religious pathos charges the scene in which Pygmalion offers to his image a gold ring and celebrates with her a wedding that is a parody of the Christian sacrament. (vv 21029-21032) [Then he embraces her again. If we keep in mind that the poem begins at the fountain of Narcissus and that the protagonist falls in love with an image reflected in this miroers perillcus (dangerous mirror. he lays himself in bed with the new bride: Puis la ram brace. !ina balestriera in the already-cited Italian version of the Roman) located between two pi~ lasters that hold up une ymage en leu de chaase . with scrip and staff. mes toute tailliee a conpas de braz. with "love songs in place of the Mass" and with the accompaniment of all the instruments of profane medieval music. such that the whole poem appears from this viewpoint as an erotic itinerary that goes from the mirror of Narcissus to the workshop of Pygmalion. et la rebese et la racole.66 u NARCISSUS AND PYGMALION NARCISSUS AND PYGMALION 0 67 such would be footwear too coarse for a girl of such grace. fol. Jean Renart.] We can confirm that this perverse and. the lover. If it is evident from what we have said thus far that the story of Pygmalion had a special importance for Jean de Meung.

s «Ou est?» «En non Dieu. often in extravagant guises (as in the legend of the dOI11Il({ soisebunda. et. si meschoisi mie en l'aigue. mes il fist ainz un mout grant sen.» (vv 871-901) v n [laking it back. that Bertran de Born composed for himself when rebuffed by one of his ladies). for it is without a doubt one of the most successful poetic passngcs in the poem and perhaps in all Old French literature: Au reprendre dist: «Granz rnerciz! Por ce n'cst pas li ors noirciz-> fet il=-sil vient de eel biau doit». in placing a ring on her finger. ainz l'avera ma douce amie. but my sweet friend will have it. she angrily sends for the knight and demands that he take back the ring. During a long colloquy. After several episodes. que je n'en reporterai rnie. the knight. or l'a pris."} It is not clear to us why this gesture of the knight should bean act of prowess and courtesy. but instead he did a shrewd thing that later brought him great joy. he said: "Many thanks. succeeds. qui couidoit qu'Ille deust remetre el suen. For you.' The water was a bit troubled. so he did not fail to see in the clear water the reflection of that lady whom he loved more than anything in the world. as he takes back the ring. «Tencz=-fer il=-rua douce amie. l'ornbre de la dame qui ere Ia riens el mont que miex arnot. vez le la. declares his love to her and is rebuffed.68 0 NARCISSUS AND PYGMALION NARCISSUS AND PYGMALION 0 69 pierced with its arrow and rendered more besotted than Tristan was for Iseult. and. where will you find her so quickly?" "1 swear it." "Where is she'!" "By God. later. If we leave Provencal poetry to one side. so full of meaning ("un mout grant sen") that it succeeds where other persuasion bad failed. la genti?: qui lavra. the imaginary lady. " She smiled. qui n'estoit que toise et demie parfonz. performs an act of such extraordinary courtesy that the lady is persuaded to change her mind And concede what she had so long refused. Here it is not . as the ring fell into it. qu'a grant joie li torna puis. whom Llove best after yourself'. "my sweet friend! As my lady does not wish it. see her there.» L'anelet prent et vers li tent. Nevertheless. which was but a span and a half in depth. now she has it. At this point the lover." he said." "God!" she answered. la dens que j'aim plus apres vous.» «Diext=fet ele-ci n'a que nons: ou I'avrez vous si test trovee?» «Par mon chief. «Sachiez=-fet il=tout a un mot. "in a word. where this topic appears most frequently. assembled from parts of other women." he said. tost vous crt rnoustree la preus. I will not take it back. vous Ie prendrez bien sans rneslee.» L'aigue s 'est un petit troublee au chcoir que li aniaus fist. taking advantage of a momentary distraction on the lady's part. "Know then. "lady. He leaned over the pool. the leader of that Sicilian school that is at the origin of Italian vernacular poetry. Surely the gold has not tarnished. for she thought that he would replace the ring on his. the knight. which is a propel' amorous debate tcontrastos. ·"we are alone here. when the reflection was dissolved: "Behold. she becomes aware of the ruse. You will take it-do not refuse. quant li ornbres se desfit: «Veez fc: il-vdame. who offers a ring to his statue?) had a significance that in part escapes us. s'est acoutez sor le puis. It is best to relate the scene in the words of Jean Renart himself. look at your beautiful reflection that awaits. Cele s'en sozrist. soon you will be shown the valorous and noble one who will have it. qui crt bele et clere." he said. we again come up against the theme of the image in a canzone of Giacomo de Lentini. puis que rna dame n'en vent mie. who has been received in the castle where his lady is. vostre bel ombre qui I' atent. we must assume that this was perfectly intelligible to Jean Renart's reading public and that the courtship of a "reflection" (how can we not think here of Pygmalion. if it returns from that lovely hand. When.

that "the eyes first generate love. for within my heart I bear your figure.the phantasy. come inside the eye= I do not say the things themselves.] These affirmations send us back to a theory of sensation that is well known to medieval psychology and physiology. for reasons that thus far escape us. . [As a man who attends to an exemplar paints a similar picture. che di zo e concepitorc. In another celebrated sonnet written for a poetic dispute ttenzone) with Jacopo Mostacci and Pier della Vigna." which. and answers saying that as light passes through glass. do I. perhaps we now begin to grasp in some way why the homage to the image of the beloved in the poem of Renart was not only not such an extravagant gesture. is perhaps precisely this "phantasm. che 'nfra 10 core rneo porto la tua figura. e non pare di fore . [and the heart. sf quasi come in vetro trasparente" (these visible things. and this sensible impression. has entered him through his eyes. and which is. Bu t before hazarding hypotheses that might appear fanciful. guardo 'n quella figura. the Notary. as Dante would call him antonomastically in a famous passage of the Purgatorio. In my heart it seems I bear you painted as if on a wall. but on the contrary a very concrete proof of love. or image. non realmente rna intcnzinnalmente. he finds himself once again. according to the erotic physics cnrrent in his day. how can such a great . But Giacomo furnishes us with clues that permit us to guess in which direction we are to seek for the meaning of this link. ( imagines. which of this conceives. sf le proprio come Ie comuni in quanto sono visibili. of which Giacomo speaks. not in reality but intentionally. at the end of his long erotic meanderings.9) in nor dissimilar terms when he says that "queste cose visibili. or phantasm (as the medieval philosophersprefer. Having great desire I painted a picture. bella. According to this theory. rna Ie forme loro=-pcr 10 mezzo diafano. after having reiterated. similar to you. This motif must have had sufficient importance for the "Notaro" (Notary). f In this example too.lady enter) Giacomo asks himself rather seriously how it can be possible that his lady. but of a figure painted in the lover's own heart. e quandovoi non via. beauty. so "no la persona. in front of an ymage. but her figure) penetrates his heart through his eyes. and I seem to have you before me . From this viewpoint. so. and that desire pleases it"). and we restrict ourselves here to its most general outlines. sensible objects impress their forms on the senses. e 10 cor. In cor par ch'eo vi porti pinta como in parete. In a sonnet that begins "Or come potc sf gran donna entrare" (Now . beauty. bella. . which of this conceives. incidentally expounded by Dante in the COl1vivio (1lI. And when I do not see you. the topic of love appears strictly and enigmatically linked to that of the image. [ gaze on that figure. who is so large. From Giacomo we learn (if we did not know it from other sources) that the phantasm. like Pygmalion. imagines. Let us listen to Giacomo: Com'orn che pone mente in altro exernplo pinge la simile pintura. Avendo gran disio dipinsi una pintura. almost as if through transparent glass). rna la sua figura" (not her person." adds thatthe eyes represent what they see to the heart. it will perhaps become more comprehensible why in the Roman de la Rose the protagonist falls in love when looking at a reflected image in the fountain of Narcissus and why.70 0 NARCISSUS AND PYGMALION NARCISSUS AND PYGMALION (J 71 a question of a statue or of an image reflected in the water. as we will see. "che si piccioli sono" (which are so small). . in the wake of Aristotle) is then received by. COSI. If this is true. imagina. but their forms-c-through the diaphanous medium. voi simigliante. or imaginative virtue. vengono dentro a l'occhic=. The image "painted as if on a wall" in the heart. also has a conspicuous role in the process of falling in love (' 'and the heart. as in the two preceding. and that desire pleases it. face 'eo. among other things. e par ch'eo v'aggia avante .non dico Ie case. e li piace quel desio. both proper and common alike insofar asthey are visible. accomplishes a very important [unction in medieval psychology. which conserves it even in the absence of the object that has produced it. because the "image in the heart" became a commonplace among the Sicilian versifiers and was bequeathed by them to the Italian courtly poets who succeeded. and such painting does not appear outside .

edited by L. I and might remove her well-fining slippers I while humhly kneeling.ode proved not only by the fad that the two episodes first occurs immediately with his Rose) and are introduced in an identical way I"Nnrclssns fu uns dcmoisicns" (Narcissus was a youth). vive.icai sciences too will begin to use images (in particular.<. of Any Warburg has used lircrary texts for the interpretation of images.. which is explicitly contrasted to that of Nan-issus. 26. stnnd as two emblems. 4" For a good while now the icollo1ogicol science born thanks to the effort. 1970. the phi.72 0 NARCISSUS AND PYGMALION it is necessary to reconstruct medieval phantasmology in all of its complexity and to seek. Fleming. "Pigmnlion. 6.sin per sa eornand<l/ pres de leih. Is it not this way that it occurs? That our quest for the phantasm should begin with this passage i. 6]. Seine Liedel.73). but when the to the truth. Gllilbmne dr. a sculptorj]. illustrations) as au allxiliw. Epochs gifted with strong imagination frequently need to conceal their most original impulses and creative obsessions behind forms and figures borrowed from other eras. 55c56. del dolce stil 'lOW} Eros at the Mirror Chapter 12 (Poets of the sweet new style). Who? A painter who. edited by G.'cu . jO. and ages that lack imagination are generally also those less disposed to compromise the affirmation 73 . at the beginning and end of the Roman. "qlJ. but above all love for an image). in Rima/or.allS. This is what we shall attempt to do in the following chapters.Napoli. Poeti del ducccnto.)' lnstrument for the interpretation of literary texts. 5. draws in the mind the images of things But when and how? of Love appears widely disthe emblemPROIARCHUS: SOCRATES: of Guillaume It is clear. edited by F Lecoy (Paris. The de la Rose". Subsequent quotations of this w0rk are from this edition. 2. insofar as it is possible. PRO'lARCllUS: SOCRA:rES: It seems the same way to me. vv. lsi. Di Benedetto 3. and I accept what you have said. Seine Lieder. and the passions nected with these write words in our souls. not simply love in itself. it reflects a concept and thirteenth which saw in Nnrcissus atic figure of love (keeping in mind (hal~-as we will see shortly= tl:c Middle Ages sow in Narcissus 1960). 12. 1939). however. 7. Is sotlars be cl. Coutin] (Milano .1 Plato's Philebus (39a) will not appear too surprising to those who have a certain familiarity with medieval culture and its disguises. sees within himself in some way the images of these objects." Thus the two episodes. vol. I e. edited by Carl Appel (Haile. On the impm'tm. v. 1915). I if it should please her to extend her foot to me) (Berrian de Ventadorn. Lords and Jean de Me'l1lg.'Le Roman de fa Rose. It is to be hoped that. next to the bed. of the twelfth mirror" of Narcissus centuries. writes truly. 20821-20822. the result is contrary (pathi!mata) conWhen this passion in us. ens anrailleires" (Pygmalion. That Jean de Mcung conceived the rpi. Cavalcanti: "che neente I par che pictate di te voglia udire" (who seems n<)t iii ~II willing I to hear of pity toward YOU). with the fountain (hM Accept then also the presence within our souls of another artist at the same time. similar and opposed. Bernarr de Ventndorn. then true opinions and discourse are produced scribe within us writes what is false. III traya. Notes l. off[]/ mnnllr for an image (see figure 22). the episode of Pygmalion.~im~J I a genolhs ct urnilians. of Pygm~lioll as a pendnnt to that of Narcissus is situatiou within the Ponun: (the after the protagonist fall> in love. the second immediately before he is united shore an analogous SOCRATES: 1969). ill the context of a global history of culiure similar to whatWarhnrg had in mind. vv. after having received from the sight or from some other sense the objects of opinion and discourse. 31-35). The identification to be all invention seminated in the poetry of the "dangerous de Lorris. "that intoxicates the living with death. PROlARCHUS: SOCRATES: When a man. I. (Bal'i. follows the description of a fountain that "makes the dead re- Memory unites with the senses. Ih platz que sos pes me tenrla" (that 1 might be at her behest incar to her. said.43. This stereotype is round again among the Stihl(wist~ {see G.hl I'esponda. see J. but also because. so to speak. A SlIIdy in Allegory and lrmlOgrn['i1y (Princeton: Princeton University Press.lolog. after the scribe." like that of Narcissus.ce "Roman of rhe illustrations for the reading of the Roman de la Rose. to trace its genealogy and follow its developments.

in some more impressionable. . but the frequent assertion that the Middle Ages had but scant and in any case secondhand knowledge 'of his works is certainly exaggerated. Aristotle is doubtless the most important of the medieval philosophers. The story of classical psychology is. thanks to an intuition that strikingly anticipates the Lacanian thesis according to which" Ie phnnrasme fait le plaisir pro pre au desir" (the phantasm makes the pleasure suited to the desire). it is because he was anxious to show that desire and pleasure are impossible without this "painting in the soul" and that a purely corporeal pleasure does not exist. like Proust's characters in the Recherche. What is erased or does not succeed in impressing itself. Tn another dialogue iTheactetus 19Id-e). which explains. Through a phenomenon that has been improperly but suggestively defined as "pseudomoI1Jhosis.. The central theme of the Philebus is not. At first glance.740 EROS ATTHE MIRROR EROS ATHIE MIRROR n 75 of their own originality. and the Timacus were surely available in Latin translation. whose legacy was to be so rich that we can still discern its echo in the Freudian theory of the memory trace: Suppose that there is in our soul an irnprcssionahle wax-tablet. We rediscover them both in Aristotle. such that it is possible to say. Aristotle himself confessed that' 'it is a problem without solution" (pol/en aporian: De anima 432b)... Plato explained the metaphor of the "interior painting" with another metaphor. more exactly. it would be impossible to furnish a complete list of works of writers in LatinEastern Fathers and above all Arabic and Neoplatonic philosophers=-who transmitted directly or indirectly the thought of Plato. the Meno. In the De anima (424a) the process of sensation is summed up as follows: We must understand as true generally of every sense that sense is that which is receptive of the form of sensible Objects without tbe matter. because the work of the auctor also comprehends its own citation. Thus. if Plato here evokes the problem of memory and the phantasy. rather. From this point of view. they are literally made up of time. And of what is impressed we conserve the memory and the knowledge so long as the image (to eidolon) lasts. but pleasure. in Plato's text. and in some harder and in some softer and in others yet a middle way . knowledge. Thus Aristotle explained the mechanism of vision=-arguing against those who explained it as a flux thai goes from the object to the eye-as 8 passion impressed by color on the eye.. Mnernosyne: everything that we wish to conserve in our memories of what we have seen or heard or conceived is impressed in this wax that we present to sensations or conceptions.as) of things in the soul is the phantasy. that the medieval texts are contained as citations within the antiqui auctores (ancient authors). however. these pictures are in fact shortly thereafter defined as "phantasms" tphantastnatav (40a). but they are in a certain sense taken literally and inserted in an organic psychological theory in which the phantasm has a very important function. In the first place. or sound. The movement or the passion produced by the sensation is then transmitted to the phantasy."] medieval Arabic civilization conceived of itself as a kindof gloss or appendix to classical texts. draws the images (eikon. purer in some. the consistency of these works cannot be verified once and for all: as Proust says of human bodies. described as disproportionately prolonged in their duration "in that they simultaneolIsly touch. Aristotle was. which has nothing to do with the vicious circle of authority and citation (the authority is the source of the citation but the citation is the source of authority). we forget and have no knowledge of." In the De memoria phemai: (450a) this impression is defined as a drawing (zoogra- The passion produced by the sensation hi the soul and in the part of the body that has the sensation is something like a drawing . this authority must be understood in a very special way. despite the apparent paradox. if it is true that the Middle Ages was dominated by a principle of authority.and secondhand knowledge. just as the wax receives the impression of the signet ring without the iron or the gold ." they coincide with their own tradition.2 For the Middle Ages. which renders impossible the birth of real authority in the modern worlr! (or. let us say. more impure in others. the medieval predilection for the gloss as a literary form. In fact the movement that is produced makes a sort of impression of the thing perceived. flavour. Thus. only renders possible its "authoritarian" counterfeit): for the Middle Ages there is not. the works of an author do not occupy a well-defined place in time. in the case of medieval culture it is meaningless to distinguish between first. the story of these two metaphors. Despite the offense to our philological sensibilities. given that it is a culture of "pseudomorphosis" and commentary. The exact part of the soul where the phantasms are properly located' is not easy to determine. in fact. in good measure. from the beginning of our study. It is a gift. although the publication of the Plato latin us uudertaken by Klibansky for the Warburg Institute shows that the Parmenides." the phantasm places itself under the banner of desire-a detail we would do well not to forget. however. certainly among the first to theorize explicitly the autonomous activity of this part of the soul: "that through which is produced in us the phantasm" . The artist who. and. so in every case sense is affected by that which has colour. like giants wallowing in the years.. the Phaedo. Plato docs not appear to hold an equally important place in medieval thought. as do those who make a seal with a ring. Second. in others less. epochs so distant. any possibility of citing a text in the modern sense of the word. Which can produce the phantasm even in the absence of the thing perceived (De anima 428a). over which the exegetical effort of the Middle Ages was to toil with particular vigor. in whose aqueous element the color reflects itself as in a mirror. of the mother of the Muses. among other things.

which saw in phantasms both the alta fantasia (lofty phantasy) thai' Dante enlisted for his supreme vision and the cogitationes malae (evil thoughts) that torment the slothful soul in patristic writing on the capital sins. Dramatized and enriched by borrowings from Stoicism and Neoplatonism. in which the Middle Ages concealed one of its most original and creative traditions. 'who. disease.cal Jacob's ladder of Hugh of St. that not all sounds emitted by an animal are words. The divination in dreams so dear to antiquity can be explained by the phantasms in dreams that induce us to perform. principle that. in regard to phonation. or sleep. have long ceased to be amazed by the mysterious power of the internal imagination. or else by means of the greater receptivity of the phantasy. in performing many actions. at the same time. during sleep Of ecstasy. Aristotle affirmed. perhaps because of our habit of stressing the rational and abstract aspect of the cognitive processes. In our examination of medieval phantasrnology we will begin with Avicenna. In fact. both the spiritual mediator between reason and sense that raises man along the mysti. except for the imagination. Thus is it not immediately easy for us to understand the obsessive and almost reverential attention that medieval psychology devoted to the phanrasmological constellation of Aristotle. was also-pcrhaps.. It also has an essential role in the dream. just as a projectile continues to move after leaving the instrument imparting its motion (De insomnis 459a). even of things that are objects of intellectual knowledge. like men." But the function of the phantasm is not yet exhausted. to external movements and emanations (De divinatione per somnium 463-464a). will dominate the medieval theory of knowledge. Closely linked to the phantasy is the memory. of this restless crowd of' 'rnetics' (as Freud would call them) that animates our dreams and dominates our waking moments more than we are perhaps willing to admit. In the De anima (420b). ecstasy We moderns. sociated to the presence of a phantasm. when awake. like the' beasts. but also during sleep. In Avicenna . the imagination (phrmtasia) has also taken its name from light tphaos). And because of the fact that the phantasms persist and are similar to sensations. according to Aristotle. the movements produced by sensation remain in the organs of sense not only during waking hours. deja vu paramnesia." This nexus is so binding that there is no memory without a phantasm. is in fact as we have said. like Avcrroes . This explains why no epoch has been. above all-a physician (his . like science and intellection (because it can also be false). Victor and the "vain imaginations" that seduce the soul into the error Saint Augustine recognized in his own truancy among the Manicheans. only those accompanied by a phantasm (mew phantasias tinos)-heci111se words are sounds that signify. because without light nothing is seen. it would be a movement produced by the completed sensation. The function of the phantasm in the cognitive process is so fundamental that it can in a certain sense be considered" the necessary condition of intellection. others because their intellect is often obscured by passions. Aristotle went so far as to say that the intellect is a kind of phantasy (phontasia tis) and several times repeats the. the centrality of the phantasm in the psychic constellation is such that it may be summarized graphically in the following scheme: language intellect sensation Phantasm dream and divination memory. We will see later the importance this association would acquire in medieval thought. After affirming that it is diverse from sensation (because the phantasms are also produced in the absence of sensations. the actions we are unwittingly accustomed to associate with those phantasms. both so idolatrous and so "idoloclastic" as the Middle Ages. a kind of phantasm that appears in sleep. and possesses the characteristics we have listed. hut because his meticulous classification of the' 'internal sense" had so profound an influence on what has been called the' 'spiritual revolution of the thirteenth century" that it is possible to detect its traces even as late ::IS the period of Renaissance humanism. which Aristotle defined as "the possession of a phantasm as icon of what it is a phantasm of" (a definition that permits the explanation of abnormal phenomena such as deja vu and paramnesia). In the thought of Aristotle. the phantasm is polarized and becomes the site of the soul's most extreme experiences: the place where it may rise to the dazzling limit of the divine or plunge into the vertiginous abyss of evil and perdition. as the sight is the sense par excellence. are governed by them: some because they lack intellect. which Aristotle defined precisely as phantasm tis. In this exegetical process. Aristotle concluded (429a): If therefore no other thing. We must here point out another aspect of the Aristotelian theory of the phantasm: its function in language. when our eyes are closed) and that it is not possible to identify it with operations that are always true. not because he was the first to give a clear formulation of it. in the scholastic formulation nihil potest homo intelligere sine phamasmata (man can understand nothing without phantasms). for example. And. this constellation occupied a central position in the spiritual firmament of the Middle Ages. The semantic character of language is thus indissolubly as . animals.76 CI EROS AT THE MIRROR EROS A:I'THE MIRROR n Tl (428a).

with some variations. visual or imaginative. as we will see. appears already well established. And the relation between it and the intentions is analogous to that between the imagination and the phuntasms. suitability or incongruity. and that retention is different from mere reception. but the same can be said of a good number of the authors who fill up the volumes of Migne's Patrologia). because in it is the capacity of retaining something in the memory. because it contains the capacity of seeing and imagining. because the phantasms of the imagination are "according to a certain quantity and quality and according to a certain place. it is placed in the medial cavity of the brain and composes according to its will the forms that are in the imagination with other forms. . In this connection it is useful to remember that although today we would be astonished to find strictly medical and anatomical references in a philosophical treatise. so that. and not only in this case. reappears constantly among medieval authors. At the vertex of the medial cavity of the brain. Thomas Aquinas. but also active. With respect to the senses. Avicenna began by dividing the external sense (vis apprehendi aforis) from the internal (vis apprehendi ab intus) and then articulated the internal sense into five "virtues" or powers: The first of the internal apprehensive powers is the phantasy or common sense. in fact. as is seen in water. which holds what the common sense receives from the senses and which remains in it even after the removal of the sensible objects . but because this reference was often complicated by an allegorical tendency that was exercised in a privileged way on the anatomy and physiology of the human body. " This psychological scheme. placed in the summit of the medial cavity of the brain. and Jean de la Rochelle. which is a power placed in the first cavity of the brain that receives in itself all the forms that art impressed on the five Senses and transmitted to it." They are thus. often simplified to a tripartite one corresponding to the three chambers of the brain in the medical tradition. on a given theme that reproduces and transposes through small divergences that can. What the phantastic power attracts passes into this. succeed in transforming completely the material from which it departs. In general it is simply impossible to distinguish the philosopher from the physician (as is the case with Avicenna and Averroes. nevertheless it would become so. and is called phantostic. and it is dry and hot just so that it can attract the forms and colors of things. so compact was the intellectual system of the Middle Ages that works appearing to us as philosophical or religious frequently had as their object specific questions of cerebral anatomy or clinical pnrhology. however. which is placed in the posterior cavity of the brain and which retains what the estimative power apprehends from the insensible intentions of individual objects. Then there is the estimative power. rational: therein. the Documenti d'amore (Docu- . It is only when the process of the internal sense is completed that the rational soul can be informed by the completely denuded phantasm: in the act of intellection. the psychic process is expressed in the crude "temperamental" terms of humoral medicine: In the head there are three cells . There is then the memorial and reminiscent power. that is. 9 The course of medieval thought can be compared. is the power of discernment. the form is nude and' 'if it were not nude. one of the masters in the school of Chartres in the twelfth century. {here Aviccnua explains that the imagination. in discerning better. are often completely unintelligible without a good understanding of the anatomy of the eye. from which it apprehends the insensibleintentions.. which apprehends the insensible intentions that are found in individual sensible objects. the force placed in the extremity of the forward cavity of the brain.. It is hot and damp. which has the faculty of receiving images but not of retaining them] .. with those musical compositions referred to as "variations on a theme. in fact. which do not strip the sensible form completely tdenudatione pClfecta). Such a mixture of purely medical with what we consider to be philosophical and literary topics is also found among the poets. one and here the soul discerns. heart. . is not only receptive. individuated images and not abstract concepts. In the Philosophia mundi (Philosophy of the universe) of William of Conches. After this there is the imagination." Avicenna presented this quintuple gradation of the internal sense as a progressive "disrobing" (demidatio) of the phantasm from its material accidents. the tripartite scheme is found in works as diverse as the Anatomia of Richard the Englishman.." the link between faculties of the soul and cerebral anatomy." It works. that is. unlike the phantasy. in some cases. and brain. After this there is the power that is called imaginative with respect to the vital soul and cogitative with respect to the human soul. The third cell is called memorial. such as goodness or malice.78 u EROS AT THE MIRROR EROS AT THE MlRROR 0 79 Canon was used as the medical text in some European universities until at least the seventeenth century). in Albertus Magnus. of circulatory models and of medieval embryology. The relation between this and the estimative virtue is analogous to that between the imagination and the common sense. whose works. the first is hot and dry. The middle cell is called logistikon. not only because the poets directly referred to the physiological doctrines of their day.. and vice versa. it conforms itself to the properties of things. the Opus malus of Roger Bacon. the estimative power proceeds further in this "disrobing" of the phantasm. we would say. the imagination does disrobe the phantasm denudation» vera without.. depriving it of material accidents. because the contemplative virtue SHips it such that no material affection remains in it. While the Avicennian scheme is thus found. like the power that permits the lamb to judge that the wolf should be avoided . for which each faculty is localized in one of the three chambers or cavities (which a medical tradition elaborated fully in Galen identified as being in the brain).

penetrates through the external and internal senses until it becomes a phantasm or "Intention" in the phantastic and memorial cells). If therefore he who looks were then to look in this second mirror.that the mind conceives from what it saw). as Cavalcanti puts it in his can zone. that is. because of this it is said that these senses do not comprehend the intentions of sensible objects unless abstracted from matter. And as it is more spiritual than in the common sense. so often (and not always cogently) discussed. involving both imagination and memory in an assiduous. As soon as the common sense receives the form. 10 The eye here figures as a mirror in which the phantasms are reflected. as poets repeat. qualll concipit animus ex co." In his paraphrase of the De sensu et sensibitibus (On the sense and seusibles). the second is in the common sense and is spiritual. The water. . and transmits them to the water. so the eye does not see if its water (that is. the imagination has no need of the presence of the external thing to render it present. both when he looked around himself and when he surrendered himself to his own imagination. but because medieval psychology-with an insight that yielded one of its most fertile legacies for Western culture-conceived of love as an essentially phantasmatic process. such that in it arc inscribed the forms of sensible objects. 13 The medieval discovery. defined it as the immoderata cogitatio (immoderate contemplation) of an internal phantasm and added that "ex sola cogitatione. 11 If we have lingered over this passage of Averroes. a reflection of phantasms from mirror to mirror. And thus it happens to the imaginative power with the form that is in the common sense. who made the great commentary. the second facet of the mirror is the sensitive po\ver and the man that comprehends it is the imaginative power. quod vidit. the humor contained in the complex articulation of "tunics" that compose it. the third is found in the imagination and is more spiritual. It cannot therefore surprise if an analogous psychological "theme" (here too with some significant variation) appears in the work of the thinker who perhaps more than any other mediated the reading of Aristotle in the thirteenth century and in whom Dante lightly saw the commentator par excellence of the Aristotelian text: "Averroes. the mirror is the mediating air. he would see that same form described by the water of the mirror. then yields it to the external net [rete: web] of the eye and this transmits it gradually to the last net. placed the other in the direction of the water. it transmits it to the imaginative virtue. since its nature is common to both. If now someone were to look in the second facet of the mirror.. "gli occhi in prima generan I'amore" (the eyes first generate love). whose Dr amore (On love) is considered the exemplary theorization of the new conception of love. hut phantasy is also speculation. the granular [gmndinoso] net comprehends the forms of things: it. in the sense the imagination does not sec that form and does not abstract its intention except after attentive and protracted intuition.and the Gloss of Dinodel Garbo to Guido Cavalcanti's canzone Donna mi prega (A lady asks me). Because of this it receives the forms from the air. it is because the whole cognitive process is here conceived as speculation ill the strict sense. MIRROR [1 81 ments of love) of Francesco of Barberino. looking in one of them. also because of the fact that the largest bodies are comprehended by sight through the pupil. not so much because.. . The form of he who looks is the sensible thing. we immediately find the answer to the question that Giacomo da Lentini formulated in his sonnet' 'Or come pote sf gran donna entrare": The opinion of those who say that the forms of sensible objects are impressed on the soul with a corporal impression destroys itself.. to descry images reflected from sphere to sphere: the medieval man was always before a mirror. In this account. The orders of this form in these powers arc therefore. To know is to bend over a mirror where the world is reflected. that is explained by the fact that the common sense sees the form through the eye. since. after which it is found in the common sense. the form would disappear from the mirror and from the water and he who looks in the second facet of the mirror imagining the form would remain. But loving is also necessarily a speculation. according to medieval anatomy) is not illuminated through the air. When the sensible object disappears. as in a mirror. according to the process we have illustrated. even though it is so small . The forms have in fact three orders: the first is corporeal. "because water dominates in this instrument. and sees it in the aqueous humor that is in the eye . tormented circling around an image painted or reflected in thc deepest self.80 [J EROS liT THE :tvllRROR EROS AT THE.it is similar to a mirror. the eye through the air. and the water is the eye. its form also disappears from the common sense and the imagination remains in the act of imagining it. which Aristotle says is found after the granular humor. Averroes gave a compendious account of the process that begins in sensation and ends in the imagination in an exemplary synthesis of medieval psychophysiology. from a form that. passio ilia procedit" (this passion derives orily from the contemplation .. according to Aristotle. 12 Andreas Cappellanus. or because love." And as a mirror needs illumination in order to reflect images. which "imagines" the phantasms in the absence of the object. Averroes continued: Let us then say that the air mediating the light first receives the form of things. The eyes and the sense arc both mirror and water that reflect the form of the object. is what Galen calls vitreous and is the extreme portion of the eye: through it. as if a man took a mirror that had two facets and. which is pure and diaphanous. this form thus belongs to the third order. In the middle. the common sense sees the form. is like a mirror whose nature is intermediate between that of air and that of water. "vien da veduta forma che s'intende" (comes from a seen form that i~ understood) (that is. Conversely. . which receives it ill a more spiritual way. in the one turned toward the water.

" every profound erotic intention always turned idolatrously to an ymage. as Averroes said. to use Proust's beautiful image. the god oflove dwells near a fountain that is none other than the mirocrs perilleus of Narcissus.. in any supposed absence of erotic spirituality in the classical world. to have led him to mirror himself in the miroers perilleus of theimagination. we must pause to examine an aspect of his thought that has a central importance for understanding the polemics between Averroists and anti-Averroists in the philosophy of the thirteenth century. with a polarity that characterizes the psychological wisdom of the Middle Ages. -but rather love for an image. and not.. As allegories of love. The novelty of the medieval conception of eros consists in this discovery. We are so accustomed to the interpretation of the myth given by modern psychology. which he mistook for a real creature. Unlike our Own era (and it could not be otherwise. that we fail to remember that Narcissus was. or if. This isnot the place to reconstruct the famons dispute over the unity or multiplicity of the possible intellect that arose from an obscure passage of Aristotle's De anima and profoundly divided the intellectual life of the thirteenth century." between the individual and the unique possible intellect. 15 From this perspective nothing prevents us from considering the scene in which the protagonist of the Roman de fa Rose experiences the first effects of love at the fountain of Eros-Narcissus. the site oflove is a fountain or a mirror. it is possible to contemplate the phantasm in the imagination (cogitare) or the form of the object in the sense. Although much remains to be clarified. the Middle Ages did not identify love of self =filautia (self-love) is not for the medieval mentality necessarily reproachable. so much so that the miroers perilleus has become one of the indispensable accessories of the amorous ritual and the image of the youth at the fountain one of the preferred topics of medieval erotic iconography. if we consider the importance of the phantasm in medieval psychology). in the Roman de fa Rose. for the Middle Ages. not directly in love with himself. at others as nothing short of mental illness. but with his own image reflected in the water. acting as mouthpiece for a profound conception (foreign to us today. Hi . each one limited to furnishing its distinct point of view to the intelligence-s-held that the possible intellect is unique and separate: incorruptible and eternal. is that the sensitive and imaginative powers. both the story of Narcissus and that of Pygmalion allude in an exemplary way to the phantasmatic character of a process essentially directed to the obsessive desire for an image. which sees all. is the great innovation of late medieval psychology and perhaps the most original contribution that it brings. so that each of them may concretely exercise the act of intellection through the phantasms that are located in the internal sense. who falls in love with an image. In all of the classical world there is nothing similar to the conception of love as a phantasmatic process. is the exemplary paradigm of the [in'amors and. Narcissus. a fairly faithful allegory of the phantasmatic psychophysiology described by Averroes in the passage we have just examined: "aqua est oculus" (the eye is water). even though certain "high" theorizations of love." The double crystal that reflects now one. but not both at the same time. the "copula. 17 Only the misconception of the role of the phantasm in the Stilnovist lyric can explain how the situation of the phantasm in the thought of Aver-roes should not even have been taken into consideration in the studies on the Averroisrn of Cavalcanti. Only in medieval culture does the phantasm emerge in the foreground as origin and object of love. I casts its rays in the fountain / and the light goes to the bottom I then more than a hundred colors appear I in the crystal. The fountain of Love. as Averroes showed with the image of the two facets of the mirror that cannot be looked at simultaneously. after all. understood at times as demoniac influence. but certainly among the highest expressions of medieval thought) that saw the intelligence as something unique and supraindividual-> within which individual persons are simply. co-inhabitants). and this explains why only when "the sun. which pushes to the extreme consequences that link of desire and the phantasy that antiquity had merely foreshadowed in Plato's Philebus. The only examples of a "phantasmatk" conception of love are found in the late Ncoplatonists and in the physir-ians (in a verifiable way only after the eighth century). the doctrine that sees in the phantasm the point of union. that is. which defines narcissism as the enclosure and withdrawal in the self of libido. almost casually.. This is understood sufficiently Clearly if one remembers that.. at the same time. it is precisely the copulatio (joining) of the phantasm and . are not lacking. an innamorarsi per ombra (falling in love by means of shadows) as the salient feature in the unhappy affair of Narcissus. but both cases concern "low" concepts oflove.820 EROS A:TTHE MIRROR EROS AT THE MIRROR 0 83 was of the unreality of love. which' 'Intox icates the living with death. it is nevertheless joined (copll/ofllr) to individuals. It should therefore cause no surprise if. It will suffice here to recall that Avcrroes . of its phantasrnaric character. To have made Eros himself gravitate within the constellation of the phantasm. we can now maintain that both the appearance of the topic of the ymage in the love poetry and the meeting of Eros and Narcissus at the fountain of Love are sufficiently motivated. never both at once. to Aristotelian phantasmology. 18 Instead. which have at every period found their original paradigm in Plato." and the mirror of Narcissus both allude therefore to the imagination. and the proper situation of eros is displaced from the sense of sight to the phantasy. ofthefol amour that shatters the phantasmatic circle in the attempt to appropriate the image as if it were a real creature (see figure 22). according to a psychological scheme for which every genuine act of falling in love is always a "love by means of shadows" or "through a figure. now the other half of the garden. where the phantasm that is the real object of love resides. of Before leaving Averroes. certainly. colocataires (co-tenants. 14 This is the reason why the fable of Narcissus has had such a persistcnt prominence in the formation of the medieval idea of love.

This is explained by considering that these powers do not act except with the interna I heat." and "noble" spirits as if of perfectly familiar realities and appear to refer on other occasions to a spirit that enters and exits through the eyes.They thus allude to a . which acts in the liver. in whom there arc phantasms whose species are in the possible intellect. seer and thing seen. the seat of life is in the heart. According to the texts we have cited. but an animal having the power of sight in which there is such a species. so it would follow that man would not understand but that his phantasms would be understood by the possible intellect. but one of the chambers of the brain. like the nutritive power. It is therefore impossible. the mirror was the place par excellence where the eye sees itself.20 then the union with one's own image in a perfectly clear mirror often symbolized. the first speaking of a' 'spirit" that is perfected in the brain. The heart is also. Whence neither can the action of the possible intellect be attributed. should several times make reference to it. so to speak "scientific. the heart. it ~ppears as the sole exhausted spot of ash that the combustion of the individual existence leaves on the impassable and invulnerable threshold of the Separate and Eternal. just as also through the sensible species something is sensed. it should not come as a surprise if Dante. but through the intellective power he understands something. The image reflected in the miroers pcrillcus of the phantasy. in fact. but through the sensitive power he senses something. and it is from the heart that the soul animates the whole animal. since the operation of the phantasy occurs through the sign of the sensible objects that remains in the common sense. In the same way. which we have seen fulfill such an important role in the mechanism of falling in love.18in contact with phantasms as a mirror is in contact with the man whose appeHrance is reflected in the mirror. it follows that the place of the imaginative virtue is necessarily in the heart. although the chambers of the brain are the place where the operations of these powers are performed. This is why a wall in which there is color whose sensible species-in-act is in sight. always so attentive to the doctrinal rigor of his own poetry. if one considers that the theoretical tradition so characteristic of medieval love poetry would not have easily tolerated such a conspicuousinexactitude. in the next chapter." reasons that make the phantasm particularly suitable to this mediating function. is like the union of the wall in which there is color with the sight in which is the species of its color. and since the dative and mensural power is necessarily in the heart. just as the wall does not see. nevertheless their roots are in the heart . that there are good. for medieval optics. As for the poets. which act in the brain. the proper place of the image is not. Therefore. they spoke often of' 'subtle. placing it under the authority of Aristotle: It should not be forgotten that. in such a way that this man would understand . Situated at the vertex of the individual soul. and the second of an "internal heat" that originates in the heart. "it is in the brain that is perfected the temper of the spirit that carries the sensitive power in the body. and the internal heat does not reach them unless it be with the measured heat. and the imaginative and memorial powers. Now the aforesaid union of the possible intellect with man. at the limit between individual and universal. which is to represent. immediately obvious. In the phantasmatic psychology that we have attempted to reconstruct in this chapter.. resolves the problem without any shadow of doubt. Both Avicenna and Avcrroes referred to this phenomenon.... For it is clear that through the intelligible species something is understood.. at once. If. cannot on this account be attributed to the man. For it is clear that the action of the mirror. We have also seen Averroes underline the "spiritual" nature of the imaginativc phantasm. the root of these PO'. is seen and does not see. it is then impossible to sustain that each person can concretely understand by means of the continuity of the possible intellect with the phantasms unless perhaps it be said that the possible intellect . however. as is explained in the book on the soul. 21 We will see further. " The Colliget of Averroes fully articulates this doctrine. where one reads also that the place and the root of the common sense are in the heart. A more attentive reading of the texts. 22 The poetic theory of the image in the heart is not therefore an arbitrary invention of lovers. according to a mystical tradition that profoundly influenced Arabic authors but which was also thoroughly familiar to the medieval Christian tradition. 19 What Saint Thomas-who here made himself the spokesman of modern subjectivism=-did not seem to understand was that for an Arabic author an image might just as well be the point where who sees is united to what is seen. for that very reason. But such a contact clearly does not suffice for the contact of the act. but its color is seen. the union with the suprasensible.84 0 EROS AT THE MIRROR EROS AT THE MlRROR 0 85 the possible intellect that offered Saint Thomas the principal target for his antiAverroist polemic. corporeal and incorporeal." "animal. on account of the above-mentioned joining. According to medieval physiology. to this man who is Socrates. if one follows Averroes's position. the principle and origin of those powers whose action finds their instruments elsewhere. however.'lCrSis therefore in the heart. but is founded on a solid medical tradition. to acconnt for the fact that this man understands. This divergence may leave \IS perplexed. thus acquires an unexpected dimension. does see. Aviccnna thus explained that although the vital principle is in the heart. 23 The mechanism through which a "power" can have its place and root in one part of the body and yet exercise its proper functions elsewhere is not.·""~oculus videt se ipsum-and the same person is. He objected that if one makes of the possible intellect something unique and separate. there is nevertheless a point that seems not to agree with the "image in the heart" of love poetry.

. To a medieval reader. <inti to pry into the secret parts of her body ." From this point of view. Mark Musa (Harmondswonh: Pcnzuin mundi wos puhlislwd in the Pa!mk'gia as the work of 1984). and it bad led Plotinus to hazard a curious etymology: "Eros..s. 1966). "maladie de pcnsce" (disease of thought) is the definition of love in the Roman de Ia Rose.<).(:(ll1l th"t Dante (I"iemo IV143. tbe. ill Aristotei}» stogirit(1e omnia quai' extant opera cum Averrois cordubcnsis . guilty and fair: I Then gnzerh till it can no longer bear ITh~ fond desire. immediately his heart begins to desire her. sU1t<Jhlefor love and formed according to the 7ima"/I.ing considered "5 a reality lind not "' the icon of .. and. who love through Lc '".. I incontro a se sadim.. del duccrnu».it ::. disli1Kt fro-m the pnsvive phant(l'. "For when to his continues the cited passage. 4.144) . \37. From An's!ollc in Ji-"'l'rrty-Thrcevnlnmcs. The coition version: . "Yo. it drawcth through the eyes. Hett. vol.'omething. what cultured men of the is . but it is not at the heart of the matter. a." mirrored ances). when Dante wish"d to make the' reader understand lwei mistaken thE' souh of tho hk~sed for reflected imllgE'c.ps {The works of Aviccnna. /Together with the thought rbat leads her there. the errol' of Narcissus mistakinj.425. I L'unimo in minute detail the ph ant-osmatic process of this cogitatia I cumella '~To non posso Iuggir. 39-102) pool".'It1ol1 of Ole im~!gln:lt~ve faculty. vol. Aln'ady in the book De "m!is (On the eye) attributr-d In G~kl1 the "n"e problem was used to (You lovers. It is .5 exist . when a ph"n(. lafhll{.lO 111. Dame Alighicri: Th« Divin« Comedy. somet!ling the YOllth is perfectly aware of ["i. 10." in Ecrits (Paris.I1"". The association of love and vision Was nlrcadyin Plato's Phaedrus (2:. so much the more does he burn with [0Ve. from [)1/!1(~ Alighirri: The Minor Poems of Dante.ulted. "Kimt avec Sarie... Hke the form. The phenomenon of paramnesia that is imme diatcly thereafter attrihuted in the le. in (he canzone "Amor. is evident 1l1.345-51O). 13. in Operum Hippoaafis Co! et Galen! pergamen! mcdicorum om"iu".tS0f'... is still only beginning. de Born. e bella min. that enacts an is not") seems to refer to an ccstaric-mnemnuic 1nlcnnmml ('xch~mgc bet\vr.l'. flamrnas moveoquc feroquc" (this one is I! I sensed it. in Poet! is a medieval character narrative of the phantasmaric vol. chap.E De animo. chap.\"~ I poi la rignarda. it did to Antiphcrontes of Ore" 'll1d other ecstatics: they spoke of phartnsms as if of the real.. Notes l. 1545. ::ISan icon somcthillg that Dante.H(!tmn(lrph(J'{.'ln of sensnrion is he. and endure.wing refused the love of Echo is without a doubt the impossib!« love of self. vol.l'cd to Ovid's I s'{nnmnrao per ombra discovery. 5.<urn! 'ensi. ch~ella non vcgna / nc limnginc folle. f uror amor mei.. e ria / cos] dipinge . dCjh vu is produced if.5c-d).}' (which is the. nee me mea fallit imago. of medicvall"yehnlogy.u" it enter that narrow aperture?" (Galen. . jJrrm'iris sicians. I For kindling tire wherein it sadly burns". at the same time.1 to Antiphcronres of Orea 'and to other "ecstatics" ("the opposlte also occurs. 1947). was not so much Ute love of self." Cappellanns . That this interpretation if the merlieval versions 8.te ego . 15.1i sernbianti."ailol/r O<il de Cad"fs (Helsinki. trans. Lacan's Assertion can he fOllnd in. pur ch'io required to lament). 1975).[ would neither understand nor learn anything. tures versity Press. Thereafter. as if they were remembering. 33]. v. "is not part of the thing. trans+ W. da che convien describes " me d0glia" (Love. critical end Galen. 8 (Cambndgc: Harvard Unifor example. whose wide diss('minalioll in the Middle Ages would not he otherwise explicable.' "I110r«.('nn(u' t arahnrn mcdicorntn the fin:t among Arab phythe text of the be understood in close conneclion with (he poetic theory process. and to distinguish her limbs ~1Jd to imagine bel' ges . I The foolish soul thar to ils hurt doth cling. Lorna DeLucchi (Oxford: Oxford University Press. See Chiaro fontana . the passage from the classical conception of love to Inc medieval can be handily characterized as the pa. whose name comes from the fact thnt he [or it] owes his lor its] existence to vision (orosi. 1679. among other places.. 11.86 0 EROS Kf THE MIRROR EROS AT THE MIRROR explain that vision is no! an cmanetion from the thing seen to the eye .'T. Our study. of necessity he c0nteml'btcs at the same time some phantasm" (De t1l1imn. 6).. 11'r('(11110 century in the West could read. 0 87 something is directed pneumatic doctrine that we have so far omitted from consideration but which we must now face if we wish to reconstitute medieval phantasmology in its entirety. It permits of the tronbndour Bertran n(l! us to explain. I And info fury flie.o. trans. compared to a "disease of the eyes" (ophthalmia). 163]. far from nearing its conclusion. a la to " (As Narcissus gazing in his mir\0r! ftll in love thlO\Jgh an im!lge.rroes's paraphrase of the Aristotelian De sensu et sensibilibus. Lutetiae. S. nor docs my image deceive me. certain aspects of love se. The Decline ojth« West. The concept ofps<'1Id('l>l"rI'!l!'sis wels formnlotcd gian culture": alien Culture "By the term 'psendrrrnorphosis"] lies so massively propose from the thing to the eye: "If therefore ill what wuy ." of the imagination".·432a).l"n. prinripum. op=ro cr Gerardi ('({"mnnrnsis from the version of G"rard edition of van Rict (Leuvc-r-Leideu that is. own self-ronsciousncss [Oswald Spengler.sagc from a "disease of the sight" to a "d1. as many times as he thinks of her.I Painling her as she is. 10). amador. Davanzati: "Come Narcissi in sua spera mirnndo of Ihe myth ofNarci"lJ' me cnmp::t. I cause. of the erotic consllHl'd (. hf"lS also ber-n con:. b~ th~ an image) is in a poem 1913). vol. 14. rrans.. One. que amarz per figura" of the troubadour O'lil de Cedars.. I T burn for my own love. 12.773. 6. since after all I am immoderate: (D" memoria et rrminiscrntia. 1(72) of Cremoua).'cl-l reality and recollection 6.dr.cifk expression-forms. how he appearof which i. The Pliiio'npiJia "I'e~d}' been apprehended hut rather from the external {Avircnna). ofan image for a real creature.i. Hrmorius of Autun.:. 1. 1552. e quando ella eben piena f del gran disio che de Ii occhi le tira .1"'llld nnrne AvicellM' and Averroes next to Hippocrates thirteenth.t11out seeing).ychology. who had no scnsarion VAW. 3. (Alberius M"gJ'll") 9. De oculi. [). Thus the commentary other aspects of the thought of Chalcidius of Plato. All that wells \11' from the depths of the young soul is cast in the old moulds" (New York: Alfred Knopf.. According 10 Aristotle liking. the comparison "Per ch'io that came to mind was that of adining contrario ((1 his own error as the contrary amor tra l'omo e'I Ionte' In the v(){'oDllbry which tIl<: soul apprehends sense" Narcissus's: dcntro a l'error corsi I a qual ch'acccse a sensible 0hj('el and that . 7. . image is of course present. of the thing" (Paradi. cannot get ..~ C'spc-cchi:... f se non come if penser cbe [a vi mena.dmmw soischrmda. 45In). their SOlllCC. it is in sensible forms that ~hr ~nl'cHigiQk..1Il exist separated from scnsihle size. the wo-nan "jntcntion" made of pieces is "that "borrowed" the flamer]. For t). 2.er from other from It (\v. e forma la sua pena: This comes about when one takes technique. in which love is over the lend th~t a yOl1ng Culture. In Ovid the theme of the reflected so-remote medieval women.its hut even to develop fully its 1926). "Since. ch'al suo mal singegna... edited by S. > hy Spengler to explain what he called "Mato ric:signnte those eil~es in which an older born in this land.notorigin o-f Coleridge's (hslindirm between fancy and imagft1(71i(m)~ is a constnut feature of p:c. Battaglia ·"se.. breath and f~ils not only to achieve pure and spc. Charlex Atkinson 2:189]. like the. 1926). Venetiis .ignifi. conunentnriis (Venetiis. sec Langfors. ve2. at the pool). I c'ha Iatto il foco ond'elb trista ineende" (vv 16-25) ["I cannot go without her following f Into my fantasy. through which he comes to a fuller conternplatinn Finally he begins 10 contcmplat« the woman's shapdin"_.. and when man c(lllitlJ1phtcs. 3.4348. The A_viccnna that here interests us is the .fCIW~ no object C:. Tbf'" idcnOfic.f_~s someone (R01ne. I F<irgeth its misery . fiber. In "precisely opposite way. fttnong other things. Andreas someone..17-18) ["I had made the opposite mistake thai I which kindled love in one man for his it is the form of the klwwledgc latina (172. 1. This passage is contained in Avo.\' transmitted to rhc Middle Ages numerous the demnn01"gy of [he E1'. punishment Narcissus merits because ofh.. one s\lddenly turns to considering it as the icon of something else.

190!).c. who was.hollid them.1mkr 21..h nwkcs joyous til\' sormwing (L'wcrba. Yol. 011 the basis of a celebrated p"ssnge of Bernart 11101"1 li ""\l1C non agui de mi poder I Ni no Iui meus des l'or' en sai I Que. Narcissus is nothing /'!OI"r-is.ph-.to. Fleming has rightly observed (The "Nomilli to nor a personification holds. come non Iossi m:li diviso: ima se 10 As we win sec in the following found in Syncsiu imaginar sed ben fiso. that Bernart 1949). or=-ubuve Curiously.<:'. trans. I959. 3. Colligellibri "La dispietara Image ct rrsscmblancc IIIi Xlle siecle (Stras .~Or(1~l'3 st::parntion of !ov'C'c (with its seat in f ) ! t t: ~ .cipline of intcrdi~dplinadfy'" is adeqlJafc 10 the intcrpret. and other cxnmple~ cited in R . CCI!1SPlcll(H1S- in lTloHc.. IS. I Mirror. 16. Beatrice Zeiller (M1!wnl'kcc·:Morqnctte University Press. ( la bella donna r'apparra preserue" (Often make of your mind a mirror. EllglHl trol1. but neither is she simply. i. 311(1 the form). 2. I nor was Imine as he lost himself." in Pi/n/ngia rornanra.:!! konogr. Cavalcann. lady sweet. a symhof ofspirifn~d C{111kmphfion. :·Indthe' Avcrroism ofB.h()uld reflect by h11'''' (InC half. that is to say. 50.1I11 <rructlon of tile 11Ir~ning of the theme of the mirror Theme in [-...dy to be of Cyrene. oOUtg. there depicted: her sweet laugh. could he preci'(~ly that of the.v.. None of Ihe explanations yet proposed for the scene of the pool in Ihe Roman de la Rose is fully convincing. leads (he Inver into the garden. mirahl"): own from that time I That she let me see myself in her eyes I In a mirror that since I sow myself in you I Deep sigh' have killed me. 'Io H. (he. i76. chapter. self and its own destiny: with its own desliny in them. . De 1.ct3tiol1 were prove exact. 20_ S~C i\k:x. J 9(7). Even tk intetpretMJon ofG. in 10 is united had 1 power over my. however. is owcd the exemplary recon1972."hls. 42.eing its vol.J"m0S The importrmcc of the. Kohler: gaze in the mirror the reflecThe 1967).. mirror / yon hold beforem«.vuoi campar. Bcninmin "durn·) chap.91). C. I allor. the fady with the mirror Ie. a mente I ycggendo vistu sua nel I (\Vithout seeing.s en la font" (Nevermore sospir de preen.)nt. the phantasy is dein Amico eli Dante (Pocti de! duccrnto. That rhe mirror in the poetry of the lilirleCllth cerlttll")' refers [0 the imagination can be proven from s[. the eyes of Narcissus. fair Narcissns. if our intc'1. Nardi. phantasm Theory in the Cav- self.r. l552. he reflected in of rasy. Javelet. '. hem'(' I ( You ". 1927. .':li phr1ntnsmology. de fa Rose. It is evident that. of the garden. 20. portancc of Corbin's studies for the understanding of Sriluovist lyric is yet another 'proof of the need for the human . I For I lost myself in the pool"). the scene at the fountain "The with the. the conception of rhe phantasy ~s a mirror is alre. hllt th~t he looks into them in a mirror ("en un a mirror that. 1. that yet ("The "per man d'Aftlildii cnrro pin(il sere" ("Love's hand did trace.. chap. " 22 (English tm. omits tlli~ e~~el1tia! point of love did not escape .r Poem' r{ Dante. then the other half.. Corbin of i\phro('H~i:lS. I l'lh sentirai cosf 'luella genre.~''\rhins '." in Swfi df"ll!tpwN.1 mysticat traditioll and medieval Christi"nily. Love.(961): vcderc. in MilINei. De sensu ("ommlmi42 (En Islam iranirn. I The. phan. and.111((" V. xxiii (Patrotogia tatina." "P to rhr Early Ninrtcrnth in Louise Vinge. Nor is it dear why. in the edited by Achille Crespi.'\-'1. . / if I know. /0 che purrnira" in there").c~ lhnt i~") the imaginafion. (lnd prudence of lechery. pn"T~t>rty Oic.::. as if you had gazes").. The curious the mirror is here in one Ttw: conrradicrion resolves to symbotize. critical edition by L. ch'i" dorma! che ceo to core i' penso a voi e veglio I mirundom: mtrora ne 10 spcglio . see E. S.l:.logy of mediC'. see Saint Augustine. m laisset en sos ohls vezer I En un mirah] qlle mont mi plai . 1936). Toronto.~lalinn by Lorna l)e'Lllcchi. itself if the mirror is i. gllaf(. to interpret 19> Sancri Thomae A'111~nit.65-146) "11~-why they .if! f0el SHell of the noble one I then. It has not yet been noted. The Minr. of Love.. Faris.:clt~nCcs to overcome division into ~p'cchli7ed departments. of the Jei. your very self pitiless mind.IIIH' necessary love. the intclrreration of the celebrated Cnvalcantian cnnzonf." courtly lechery contradiction 7~). /whi.'ho IC<lcl..ryst~i1s are primarily tions of he who sees himself 85.(1 f':>. unitat« infdhrW."1. Amore. Venenis.nterpreted "' 1hc imaginnfi011 and." 165.1::::::Y: one case as fmagilwtin [(liso or bestialis. \vas simpl:y unavvare of a doubt" de Vcntadorn: I Qu'aissi that the two stones arc the "yes of the lady. if one is eogniznnt of Averrocs. when gazing at the "wect face I which. m~\ny respects :licantian more 111r::ightf\I~.~.! or looking in in a mirror \. Bruno N~rd. Dino del Garho.lph:y: by turns ooth noted.957). if the two gems Were the eyes of th0 lady. as in the canzone "E m'increscc di me 8i durnmcnrc" (1 pity myself so inl. The irn.88 u EROS AT THE MlRROR l6. ~: 43. 1() doctrine E. / the fa lorna)" gioios« 'I cor dolerite. "Dorma mi prcga" is entirdy transformed. Sermo xxv in So (Patrologin X /m. book 2. ( looking at myself all the while ill the. Victor. vv.' che 'nnanzi mi tenete e ne la forma" (You think.\1I. in anruher. Lewis. For example. and was transmitted by him to Ih" Christian mystics.certainly as Fleming thar permits a lady at her mirror h~1~often t-f'f':H A. De 71"1'. in Trani on and ArahiC' erotic mvsticism. 1940.·'ith the imagination abo permits a fresh interpretation of (he figure of Oiseusc. a personification incoherence.\-hy if i. 17.]1ionofhuman phenomena. never been away I bill if the imaginal ion be well fixed! Acerba of Cecco dAscoli '·SCE17}\ the beautiful lady will appear to you). an encounter other than its meeting The two .. I <md s. mente. 25. Favati ("G.hcd I~le J\\'f"r!'nism of CZl:V. in scribed as a mirror held up by Love: "Taler credete voi. as im(lginr1fio in \·'crri'or rtrlinnnJis (sec Riehnrd of S1. against all probability. in Cino cia Pistoia (Rimntm'. you wish to thrive. in l\1trn/ngi(l lntina. who. 23. the R()se .it. ( when with my heart I think of you and wake. therefore. I Mi. 731). ignor:ml of I'nenmat'. Only a "'dh.. 1955). At other times the image is in the mind. 1968).:cu<:.~. can affirm "without the shadow EROS ATTHE the sensirivc piln) ~nd the p(). Shaw (Cavalranti's and.on from A" tlu: Unity (~rllll" Imel/pef again»! the /werroists. it has been possihle. 50. The Allegory of (Oxford. Ascoll Piceno. Thi» identification of the 'U. Isaac of Stella.!lmdo 'I dolce viso ( 10 qual so che v'e pinto H suo bel riso.bt.\" as. See Averroes.<:. of the complcx itv and richness docs not say that the eyes of his I"dy are the mirror..l think. lovcr into the ganil_~n..\· contra /vccrroistas. one can frtH in {ove (mnkjng a mirror of the bare mind. 'maginare" sights in the imogination).!!cftntj on a ri. the singuhr inilividuallhrough the ph:mtilsm Ihat is aho the origin and object of the love experience. ("The Averroism of Dante's Firs( Friend. keeping in mind the polarity af the medieval concepf of the. dd dnlre sti! novo. vol.'Cral pass"ge. "·'ith insfance: a n~f!l object and. 22.. AV0J"foi< Corduheusis from the canzone VII. 209): "Fa de hi mente tua spccchi» sovente ( se . . please8 me much. Keeler (Rome. I'uom puh innamorarc J formando specchio della l1W . 43-79) \.:~ihle intellert MIRROR IJ 89 of the fncl that the possible intellect £0"" . Regarding the relation of thi."1'01'("(111 Literature Century (Lund: Gleerups.. in the other.\11 pos me mir0i en re IM'an perdei cum perdet se I to hel N~rds".. that sometimes j sleep.Llbli:c. 1he Roman de la Rose.96)_ TMi:<.cnsely).42. .

began to tremble so violently that even the most minute veins of my body were strangely affected. 2 But this reconstruction is. we have attempted to reconstruct the broad outlines of the medieval theory of the phantasm. and a psychic pneuma tpsychikosv. of the "donna della sua mente" (mistress of his mind) with a triple allegory. This pneuma. a hot breath that originates from the exhalations of the blood Of. was stricken with amazement and. from Erasisrratus to Galen. and I speak the truth. and this substance is analogous to the element which belongs to the stars. but the pncuma which is enclosed within the semen or foam-like stuff. not only because it docs not restore the medieval physiology of spirits in all its ramifications." And as. where Dante registers the appearance. "neither the land that has nourished them nor the elements that have formed their substance nor the climate that gave them their individuality nor the alternation of seasons that regulated the process of their becoming. centered in the left ventricle of tile heart. from medicine to cosmology." At that point the natural spirit. The channels of this circulation are the arteries.5 The pncumatology whose outlines we will now trace here. 3 This passage appears to presuppose the existence of a fully articulated theory and contains already the two characteristic elements of the medieval pneumatology: the astral nature of the pneuma and its presence in the sperm. in our opinion. the vital spirit. who have shown how the notion of three spirits is paralleled in the medical terminology of the period. a single one in Diodes of Caristo. according to Galen). in the preceding chapter. and it is precisely under its rubric that all these succeed in harmoniously blending together in the thrust of an edifice that is perhaps the most imposing intellectual cathedral constructed by late medieval thought. however.. the references to the pneuma in the Hippocratic corpus appear to confirm this supposition. the one abiding in the high chamber to which all the senses bring their perceptions. Central to this theory is the idea of the pneuma. 736b: In all cases the semen contains within itself that which causes it to be fertile=-what is known as "hot" substance. speaking directly to the spirits of sight. and the natural substance which is in the pneuma. began to weep. the benevolent destiny offered us by these lovely fruits severed from their tree restores to us. The passage of Aristotle frequently referred." At that point. but only pneuma. to by medieval writers is De generatione animalium. which do not contain blood as the veins do. interwoven in the doctrine are. Arteries and veins com- At that very moment. it spoke these words.SFlRITUS l'IlANTAS71CUS [] 91 Chapter 13 Spiritus phantasticus that this cathedral has remained until now at least partially buried means that we have surveyed the love lyric of the duecento-its most perfect result-as we might one of those mutilated statues that time has detached from Greek temples or from the tympana of Rornanesqne churches and which now smile at us enigmatically in museum galleries. "Here is a god stronger than I who comes to rule over me. localized in the brain. the one dwelling in that part where our food is digested. along with them. have been sufficiently traced by scholars. and weeping said these words: "0 wretched me! for I shall be disturbed often from now on. the animal spirit. said these words: "Now your bliss has appeared. spirit) must be very ancient. from which the Stoics also plausibly drew. The origin of the doctrine of the pneuma (breath." I The foundations of this celebrated passage at the beginning of the Vita Nuova. It is probable that Aristotle found this theory in older medical texts. wind. The fact 90 I I [ . dressed in crimson.t The first physician whose pneumatic doctrine we can trace with any certainty is that of Diocles of Carisro. From the heart.C. from the external air that is continuously inhaled (or from both. whom Jaeger situated at the beginning of the third century B. we will now attempt to reevoke this "land" and this "climatc" in the excavation for that pneumatic doctrine in which phantasrnology is dissolved without residues. the one that dwells in the most secret chamber of the heart. according to others. incomplete. which is not fire nor any similar substance. is often distinguished (for example by Erasistrams) into a vital pneuma (zotikos). from psychology to rhetoric and soteriology. As Hegel noted. and trembling. the pneuma is diffused through the body. Indeed. but above all because the pneumatic doctrine that is expressed in this passage is in no way reducible to the medical-physiological sphere alone. rather. all aspects of medieval culture. vivifying it and making it capable of sensation. contemporaneously with Zeno. the founder of the Stoa. is the common patrimony of all succeeding Greek medicine. however. through a circulatory system specific to the pneuma that penetrates to every part of the organism.

andis Ied W the place of punishment. "the ethereal and luminous vehicle circumfusing the soul is illuminated by divine light" and "the divine phantasms. if. Iarnhlichus frequently referred to the luminous pneuma of demons and heroes and of the archons who reveal themselves in the epopsy. 9 Precisely because it is. but is "connarured" to the body of each. in Porphyry. when an artery is cut and the invisible pneuma escapes. reflecting itself in the surrounding air as in a mirror. indestructible and immobile like the stars. instead. and divine influences. and. Synesius. Thus. This breath or fire is present in each person and communicates life to him or her: the individual soul is but a fragment of this divine principle. the subject of sensation. This contact produces a tension in the air that is propagated following a cone whose vertex is in the eye and whose base demarcates the visual field. themost perfect sense and the first vehicle of the soul. The phantastic spirit is.6 Alterations of this pneumatic circulation product:' disease: if the blood is trio abundant and invades the arteries. without intermediaries. This "m'tisanal" (teclmikon) and divine fire is also the substance of the sun and of other celestial bodies. dreams. and the five senses.3). in the course of its astral itinerary." The notion of pneuma also occurs in Neoplaronic demonology. Porphyry. which is explained by Iarnblichus as the descent of a divine pneuma into the body). moved by the will of the gods. In the thought of Zeno and Chrysippus the pneuma is a corporeal principle. and of the divine illuminations (In divination.92 [J SPIRITUS PliANTAS71CUS SPIRITUS PHANTASl1CUS 0 93 municatc attheir extremities. is progressively darkened and moistened. it is immediately followed by blood flowing from the veins. it is the closest to the soul and certainly the most divine. who made it the central principle of their cosmology and their psychology. however mediated. as such. through the larynx. there is swelling.. human and divine. the phantastic spirit is the' 'intermediary between the rational and irrational.. a subtle and luminous body (leptoteron soma). beginning in the heart. in some places more and in some less: it is the principle of growth and sensation. in whose subtle pneumatic matter are impressed the images of the phantasy as the marks of writing are impressed in a wax tablet. the pneuma is the instrument of the imagination and. is accomplished. the descent of the soul through the planetary orbits toward its terrestrial destiny appears as the acquisition of an ethereal wrapping. the pneumaocherna is weighed down to the point where it is held on the earth like an oyster attached by its valves. it has not succeeded in detaching itself from matter. which explains why. The hearing and sight are not truly senses. ministers of the common sense and as it were gatekeepers of the living thing. After the death of the body-if the soul has known to abstain r I r I i 1 J I from contact with matter-it reascends to the sky :)long with its pneumatic vehicle. seize our imagination". This permits an explanation both of reproduction. the revelatory phase of the Eleusinian mysteries. following a suggestion in the Timaeus (41e). sets the tongue in motion. divination. of a sort of subtle pneumatic body whose substance is formed from the celestial bodies and which." During earthly life.. with a felicitous image that was to exercise an enduring influence and of which it is perhapspossible to discern an echo in Dante's "little bark of genius" U'urgatorio 1. In Ncoplatonisrn the Stoic theme of the pneuma is conceived. however. if. which pervades the universe and penetrates every living thing. the "visual" spirit of medieval physiology) where it enters into contact with the portion of air situated between the visual organ and the object. who transmit to the overlord what they perceive outside . corporeal andincorporeal. which occurs through a pneumatic current that reaches as far as the testicles and is transmitted to the offspring in the sperm. as a vehicle (ochenia) or subtle body that accompanies the soul during the course of its soreriological romance from the stars to the earth. thrusting the pneuma toward the heart. the pneuma is pushed so that it accumul. compared (he phantasy to a boat in which the newborn soul descends from the . The voice. it is the subject of dreams. If in Neoplatonic and Stoic pneumarology pneuma and phantasy frequently appear assimilated in a singular convergence. identical to fire. as far as the sublunar region. of astral influences. The center of this circulation is in the heart. in a passage that is certainly the origin." In this ever-denser web of sotcriological find psychological themes.. Nature in fact has constructed around it the fabric of the head. a sense perfect in all its parts . is a pneuma that radiates from the hegemonic part and. but instruments of sense. because of its lightness. the result is fever. It is plausibly from this medical doctrine that the notion of pncuma was derived by the Stoic thinkers. because the phanrastic spirit is the most common sensory medium and the first body of the soul. too. which is accomplished through a pneumatic circulation that. nourishes itself with the effluvia that rise hom the earth. directs itself to the pupils thorotikon pneuma. For Synesius the phantasy is "the sense of senses" and the nearest to the knowledge of the divine. and as if the common term through which the divine communicates with what is most remote from itself. and of sensible perception. The pneuma is not introduced into the body from outside. of Dante's conception of the aerial body of the sou! in purgatory. where it finds its proper site. such that it can be said that the vita! principle in plants and animals has the same nature as the celestial bodies and that a single principle vivifies the universe. the sperm. on the contrary. the voice.ues at the extremes of the pneumatic vessels. After death this pneuma does not cease to exist but ascends. on the other hand. rational and irrational. at the same time. It conceals itself in the interior and governs the living thing as from a citadel. Thus one single pneumatic circulation animates the intelligence. in whose sign the exaltation of the ph:111t(5)'as mediator between corporeal and incorporeal. in the De insomniis of Synesius they are fused without residue in the idea of a "phantastic spirit" iphomastikon pneuma). so that they always appear in different forms. seat of the "hegemonic" part of the soul. affirmed that the aerial body of demons alters its form according to their phantasies. when according to Iamblichus. and in ecstasy.

as such. imagine. it would not be distinguished from the soul. In this curve of time tile pneumatic physiology of the physicians exercised a profound influence on all of contemporary culture. this spirit. In the latter case. and a soteriology+the breath that animates the~lniverse. it becomes the simulacrum (eidolon) in which the soul expiates its punishment. passes throughi ts threecells. according to the Neoplatonic tradition. In the transmission of this complex of doctrine. According to another theory. directs itself through the air to the object (which functions as its "supplement' '). 10 Given that this praise of the phantasm is contained in a work on dreams ("in his waking. medicine earned a place in the front rank. but the greater part of the physicians distinguished three: the natural spirit. In the brain and 111 the heart. Ch" . may render itself subtle and beco~e ethereal or become darkened and ponderous. therefore.. in humans.14 From the brain the animal spirit fills the nerves and is radiated through the whole body. and in the logistic cell. The rebirth of pneumatology in the eleventh century began with the Latin translation by Constantine the African of the Liber regius of 'Ali ibn 'Abbas al-Magiusi. vital and animal. which is there digested and purified and then from the liver proceeds through the veins to all the members of the body.circulates in the arteries. emerges from the eye as the visual spirit. should be joined by a certain medium which. 12 b platonic martyr Hypatia and who later became a convert to nstJatllty.. within whose compass= which circumscribes at once a cosmology. The synthesis that results is so characteristic that European culture in this period might justly be defined as a pneumophantasrnology. then the common sense transmits the form to that part of the spirit that is contiguous to the spirit that bears it and impresses this form and places it thus in the formal power. and. we read: It is necessary that the body. participating in the nat\1f~ of both. and penetrates to the spirit that is found in the first ventricle of the brain and is impressed on this spirit that bears the power of the common sense . speculation. The psychology of Avicenna. reason. . with the translation of the De dijj('l'CIltiae animae et spiritus of the Arab physician Costa ben Luca. "through the power of the phantasy and the memory is again purified and further digested (dtgestior purgatiorqfle) and becomes animal spirit. the vital spirit. it is in addition the intermediary between the soul and matter.. which arises in the chambers of the brain from a purification of the vital spirit. a pneumatic mirror) that receives the idoli (images) emanating from things and in which. increasing its natural vigor. the divine and the human. . during terrestrial existence. if it has been suitably purified... it would not differ hom the dullness of the body. and the animal spirit. and love. without leaving the eye. is . the complex of doctrine that. when restored to its essential "spiritual" context. It is therefore necessary that it be neither fully sensible nor wholly incorporeal . it is well to remember that for Synesius too the phanrastic spirit is above all the subject of dreams and the organ of diVination. 16 An ~nalogous mechanism accounts for healing and the other senses. . the animal spirit enacts the images of the phantasy." wrote Synesius. the visual spirit.e... and there. Synesius compared the phantasric spirit to a mirror (the mirror of Narcissus is. a physiology. This union of extremes and organ of corporeal movement is called spirit. a psychology.!! In this connection. but in the dream he is a god"). allows the explanation of all the influxes between corporeal and incorporeal. In the De motu cordis of the physician Alfred the Englishman. 13 According to some authors (including Alfred the Englishman and his source Costa ben Luca) there are two kinds of spirit. already formulated at least Wits general outlines. once informed of the object's figure and color. From the left chamber of the heart the vital spirit in fact rises to the brain through the artery. which here becomes still more. will. which is of a very subtle und incorporeal nature. which originates in the heart and is diffused to the whole body through the arteries. by identifying the interior image of Aristotelian phanrasmology with the warm breath (the vehicle of the soul and of life) of Stoic . and reached its first culmination toward the middle of the twelfth century. We have lingered over this treatise of Synesius. Through the cavity of this nerve passes the animal spirit. which originates in the liver ("that part where our nourishment is administered. adopting an image that would long endure. receives and forms the phanta~\lls of the things we see.. . would so richly nourish the science. and the soul. If this medium were of a wholly incorporeal nature.. then bifurcates and reaches the eyes.The entire psychological process described in the previous chapter must be translated and "spiritualized" in the terms of this pneumatic circulation. dream. Insofar as it is the subtle body of the soul. animating it.. subtle. and fertilizes the sperm is the same one that. Indeed. who was a student of the Nco . U1~itesin a single compact so discordant a diversity. which we previously described in purely static terms. cause in this curious little book can be found. and. whose material is solid and obtuse. In the phanrastic cell. sound like this: The similitude [of the thing] is united to the part of the spirit that bears the visual spirit . 1 J I if it were wholly subordinate to the laws of matter. from magical fascination to astrological inclinations." in Dante's words) from the exhalations of blood.. returns to the eye and from there to the phanrasric cell. the prophet may discern the images of future events.Neoplaton1c pncumarology. the optic nerve branches from the phantastic cell.. which is the imaginative . and poetry of the intellectual renaissance from the eleventh to the thirteenth centuries. Moreover. "man is wise. ." and.. producing sensation and movement.94 0 SPIRITUS PJTANTASnCUS SPJRr[(lS PHANTASI1CUS 0 95 celestial spheres to unite itself with the corporeal world.. according to one theory. in the memorial cell it produces the memory. receives the impression of the object through the air and transmits it to the phantastic spirit. then the form that is in the imagination reaches the rear ventricle and is united with the spirit that bears the estimative virtue through the spirit that bears the imaginative power which.

where it comes into contact with the incorporeal substance of the soul itself. covers it If reason acquires imagination through contemplation alone. . The body rises through the medium of the senses. In fact. Hugh. The imagination. . and inspired by the Neoplatonic theory of the phantastic spirit as the mediator between corporeal and incorporeal. and what is born of the spirit is spirit. when the form of the sensible thing. the spirit descends through sensuality. along which the body ascends toward the spirit and the spirit descends to the body: If there were no intermediary between the spirit and the body. . uniting itself to the female sperm. but in rational animals it reaches as far as the rational cell. Great is the distance between body and spirit: they are distant one from the other. neither the spirit nor the body would have been able to meet each other. comes into contact with the substance of the rational soul itself and stimulates the faculty of discernment. Now the rational substance is a corporeal light. A single pneumatic current circulates in the organism and in that current what can only statically be considered divided is dynamically unified. . . insofar as it causes sensation. so that reason can easily dispense with it and . In his Pantechne. the imagination. Hugh placed a kind of mystical Jacob's ladder.. and this same spirit. something through which the spirit descends. This body. gathered from the outside by means of the visual rays.. . it reaches the brain and originates the imagination. Victor. The problem that the pneumatic physiology of the physicians posed for the Christian anthropology of the Middle Ages concerned the manner in which the relation of spirit and soul was to be conceived. a function par excellence of the rational soul. situated in the highest part of the corporeal spirit and in the lowest part of the rational spirit . the imagination acts as a garment that stands outside and enfolds it.96 0 SPIRITUS PlfAN1ASTlCUS snetrus PHANTASI1CUS 0 97 called cogitative. Think of Jacob's ladder: it rested on earth and its top touched the heavens. like a shadow that comes to the light and superimposes itself on the light. insofar as it is a form of the imagination. rational and irrational. insofar as it superimposes itself on the light it darkens it. and some very low. The imagination is therefore a figure of the sensation. In irrational animals it does not transcend the phantastic cell. 17 We are now also prepared to understand the theory for which the first seat of sensation and imagination is in the heart. almost fallen below the spiritual nature. there is vision. . . in Which. because in this way things supreme are joined to the lowest things . beyond sensation and above it.. after the imagination has risen as far as reason. some are higher.. . and thus began with the words of the Gospel of John. The animal spirit naturally inheres in the sperm." But over the abyss that separates the two substances. There is. 20 In quest of this Jacob's ladder. In the body there can be nothing higher and nearer to the spiritual nature than this." If Costa ben Luca already stressed the difference between the mortal and corporeal spirit and the immortal and incorporeal soul. who explicitly condemned the grave error of those who identify the spirit with "that eminent part of man that makes of him the image of the incorruptible God and elevates him above all the other living creatures.. he wrote. like William of St. Radiating itself through the body it reaches the testicles. the force of the imagination originates. insofar as it comes toward the light it makes itself manifest and circumscribed. and pointed in addition to the opinion of "certain philosophers who affirm that this spirit of the brain is the soul and that it is corporeal. Thierry. Constantine the African appeared to identify the rational spirit with intellection. to wit the rational souL" With a formula that reveals in an exemplary way the metaphysical fracture of presence that characterizes Christian ontology. Similarly also among the spirits some are higher. is converted into "a milky and tenacious juice. Hugh proceeded to a reevaluation of the phantasy that constitutes a decisive turn in the history of medieval culture: Among bodies the most noble and nearest to the spiritual nature is the one that possesses a continuous movement in itself and cannot ever be stayed by an outside force. some are supreme and almost transcend the corporeal nature. and. finally purified and led to the inside. coitus once completed. Therefore.. The fiery force that has received a form from the outside is called sensation. in its turn. Not all bodies are of the same quality. refined and purified. enfolds it. is a shadow. it forms the embryo and receives influences of the St81:S. The body rises and the spirit descends. rises to the brain and becomes animal. the preoccupation over reconciling the pneumatology of the physicians with Christian doctrine is plain in William of St. some lower. Thierry. and the form that was in the imaginative is impressed on the spirit of the estimative virtue . insofar as it is the image of a body. Ineffable and incomprehensible is the meeting of these two substances.. distrusted any hasty identification of corporeal and incorporeal. "J9 This mysterium ineffabile constitutes the theme of one of the most singular works of the twelfth century: the De unione corporis et spiritus of Hugh of St. now so purified and made SUbtleso as to be able to join itself without mediation with the spirit itself. The visual spirit in fact has its origin in the heart. but the powers are actualized in the brain. however. imitates the living reason. according to which' 'What is born of the flesh is flesh. to approach the body . passes to the outside" 18 where. Subsequently. passing from the anterior part of the head to the central part.. comes to be led to the eyes by the work of nature and is gathered by these. imitates the rational life and. "The Author of nature has shrouded the union of the soul and the body in mystery. Such a reality is so sublime that above it no other can be found if not reason. some lower. passing through the seven membranes of the eyes and the three humors. this same form transported to the inside is called the imagination.

it is not clear if something such as a "magical pbenomenon" is definable in itself. concrete a fashion as in the thought of this period. this mediating function of the phantastic spirit is reiterated and specified: "The soul that is true spirit and the flesh that is true body are united easily and appropriately at their extreme point. and by Cecco d'Ascoli as a demoniac illusion of the phantasy or as the assumption of an aerial body by a dcrnon. with the polarizing intuition that characterizes medieval thought. without recourse to a play of oppositions that vary culture by culture. so that reason cannot detach itself without pain.." The opinion tliat ' 'through a certain art of women and through the power of the demons men can be transformed into wolves or mules" was thus explained by Aicher as an action of demons on the phanrasric spirit that. and above this the reason that acts on the imaginarion. defines the "key of wisdom" as "the perfect nature" and this in its turn as "the pneuma of the philosopher that is united with its star" (a definition that at this point should be perfectly intelligible to our readers). Another aspect of the Neoplatonic theory of the phantastic pneuma that was inherited by medieval culture was the idea that it was the vehicle and the subject of magical influence. because it had attached itself with love . the imagination becomes like a skin for it. on the other hand. which are both in the corporeal spirit. to rediscover both a positive polarity and a "spirituality" in that mortal disease of the phantastic spirit that was love. It is not inopportune to remember in this connection that the lascivious half-naked ladies.. there is a progression through sense and imagination." If we keep in mind the close bond that joins love and the phantasm.P The extraction of a magical sphere and literature from the bosom of medieval pneumarology was the work of a period that had lost the keys to it and could nor (or would not) understand either the unity of its doctrine or the precise sense of its articulations. and in the sensuality of the flesh. that is. but is similar to the body. Furthermore. which exercised so much influence on Renaissance Hermetism.r" In the Fathers most influenced by Hugh. magic. (he phantastic power of the soul. Rising. If.26 At this point a decline began that would fatally thrust pneumarology into the half-light of esoteric circles. which surely more than ours deserves the name of "civilization of the image. this is because both belonged to the sphere of phantastic pneuma. we can affirm without excessive uncertainty that to speak of magic as a sphere distinct from that of pneumatology makes little Sense. The so-called magical texts of the Middle Ages (such as the astrological and alchemical ones) deal simply with certain aspects of pneumarology (in particular. while accepting the medical doctrine of spirits.23 In particular. therefore. the half-human and half-feral creatures. In a pneumatic culture. it is easy to understand the profound influence that this reevaluation of the phantasy would exercise on the theory of love. at least as far as the Middle Ages are concerned. with the phantastic pneuma. then became the site of the celebration of the "Ineffable union" of the corporeal and. "while the body of a man reposes in a. he can take on the form of a certain animal and appear as such to the senses of other men". like Isaac of Stella and Aicher of Clairvaux.. that is.. in this regard. or between spirit and body) and. . If the spiritual mediator of this union has been identified. This same vertiginous experience of the soul. and. there is the imaginary affection in the incorporeal spirit that the soul receives through its union with the body. "spirit from body" (talismanics}. the distinction between magic and science (and that between magic and religion as well) is of no use. the terrifying devils. incorporeal. which is not a body. can perfectly well be subsumed in the doctrine of pneumatic influences and were explained as such by the medieval authors.22 To measure the importance of the reevaluation of the phantasy that is accomplished in these writings. If fascination could for a long time be placed alongside love almost as its paradigmatic model. it is necessary to recall that in the medieval Christian tradition the phantasy appeared in a decisively negative light. which we would certainly not define as "magical. or "bodies from bodies" (alchemy).place. which is almost spirit . attempted to isolate this doctrine in the domain of corporeal physiology and to strip it of all the soteriological and cosmological implications that made of the pneuma the concrete and real mediator of the" ineffable union" between soul and body. like fascination.98 0 SPlRITUS PHANTAS71CUS SPIRITUS PHANTAST/CUS 0 99 denude itself. although this term is habitually used with a certain casualness. from the bodies at the lowest extreme up to the corporeal spirit. it was possible. The Picatrix then classifies the various forms of magic according to whether thcy have as their object "spirit from spirit" (practical magic andphantasmagoria). Only the obsolescence of pncurnatnlogy and the consequent semantic mutation that has brought the word" spirit" to identify with the vague notion now familiar to us (and which acquired such a meaning only in opposition to the term "matter") will make possible thatdichotomy between corporeal and incorporeal that is the necessary condition of a distinction between science and. certain influences between spirit and spirit. in ways we shall see. phenomena that we consider magical par excellence. are not essentially different from texts like the poems of Cava1canti and Dante. and the whole conglomeration of monstrous and seductive images that crystallized in the iconography of the temptations of Saint Anthony represent precisely the phantasms that the Tempter excited in the phanrastic spirit of the Saint. this is because not even in the most exalted Romantic theorizing has the imagination been conceived in so elevated and. This process began already with scholastic theology that. in the wake of Neoplatonic thought. in a culture founded OIl the notion of spirit as quid medium between corporeal and incorporeal.. because a positive polarity of phantasy had been discovered. alive but with the senses weighcd down more than in sleep. . of light and shadow. at the same time. Immediately beyond the body. reason adheres to it with delight. The question has often been raised as to what should be understood by the notion of magical phenomena. Nevertheless." Thus the Arabic treatise known in the West by the name Picatrix.

De insomniis (Patrologia graeca. '·Sines!o figllf('. 4. "Ricerchc intorno all'clcmcnto which refers filosofico nei poeti but Dante's both in 01'('1'11111. I say corporeal or in- of the various that I find about it").ly discussed subjects in a "contempbtivc" culture like that of late antiquity find the Middle Ages. Cicerone et Chalridi» mW cum cius dorta ~xpl{/n(ltionc. ct Platnnis placitis."wsii cpiscopi Prcmnon pitysicrln a N. stil novo. Dc anima 18. 1294. as distinct edifice.rmso:. vol. however. that our culture might have.I' I. ill Ncoplatnnisrn. "The sight. R. 2. is <ummarizcd dp univcrsitat« interpretibus in the commentary of Ch31ddills to the Timacus tTimacns Platonis sive M. 171. Klein from drawing ahnve all with respect to love poetry.y. 10.75 recognovit C.. spirits are not simply "pr. 1963). Thus SflintThom:ls (Dt' spirituolibns creaturis.Ipirit\ls qui ad oculos dirigitur . between Christianity he must have heen eliudiJ1g to the ami Ncoplatonism . ). in Galen (De Hipporratis Notes 1. 23. Lutetia. speaking these revelations opinions or incorporeal I? of our dreams. Aicher of Clairvaux. 4~5.8). from illusions to refraction in mirrors) are mnong the most passionarr.. but did not in fact follow. vol. On this problem. l.). notwithstanding from a.. which still survived in Descartes-and which appears still. Iarnblichus 117.712). 2. 180. in particular.. can be understood only in of Giornale dantesco 18 (1910): pneurnatolngy were ()11e 168-74. and in Ncmesius cl'isrnp" Salemi in lrttinunt tronslatiotr... L'n'olmh". G.. 371'L . see Verbeke. For the history of ancient pueumatology. above all to Albert". William of St. Ibid. see IL-l. 22. . One representative del dolce Magnus.. p. 1290). Chap. In the mainstream of thought remained only the medieval doctrine of corporeal spirits. a fiery dart from the eyes. Liber de spiritu et anima. and his concluan abstractran~lation in study of Robert Vitale saw that the. trans. I42ff. 21.. . article. Ibid . On the theory of pneuma edited by E. hook 5." Only the exemplary Revne d'Fmdcs II (1965): on the Rcnaissnnr« and Modern Art (Princeton. spreads a certain marvelous force. de iis quifascinnrc mobile and wandering. 197~236 [English J7.t] theories. Leipzig. he W. Galena ascriptus m. (N. 1973). the idea of pneuma would yet produce a late and splendid fruit as the "spirit of love. see Proclus. corporeal When Dante (Cami"i" 11. "Utrum substantia spiritJmlis corpori acrco nniatur" 798. Dc unionc corporis et spiritus (Pnlralogi(r I". rou. Princeton University 62-85J." e. 5).8) substance to the question is joined to an The ElcIIU·nI." 25. 1962). fascinate).rsonificatiOll' of the powers of the soul. VOIl to. II.. which is born from the gaze.011 through the eyes is already Plutarch. 1979).. phantasmnlogy. relation of love. Klein. 45. to the eyes is higher und subtler .11(11. to 1'". dicuntar (of those who are said to one another rather thr-1:I1s the articulations a of his discoveries. see the observations of V Liccaro in Hugh of St.{Thro/(Jg).'.'"" 177. Thierry.bile spirit). Vitale. The mcchnnism of vision and the optical problems linked to it. Mark Mus" (Bloomingtcm: lndiann University clear knowledge of these pneumatic theories it is 'imply imp()s~ihle 10 read the poetry the thirIce nth century. ) (John of S:J1isbury. 13. Before withdrawing into the shadows.100 [I SPIRITUS PHANTAST/CUS SPIRITUS directed latina fNC PHANIAS17CUS 0 !O1 in Patrologia occhi where it would long survive as the path.xampk is G. 20. The. 1563. the ecstatic phenomenon described by Dante in Vira NUOVQ XIV (the "spirits of sight" out of their instruments) relation to this "spiritual" conception of vision. 38: "Pegli un spirito sotrile" (Through the eyes strikes a ". and Albertus Magnus (Dc spirit» ct respirattonc dium of the union of soul and body denied that the spirit is the me. Regimen (Berlin. 3A. Schrtft de mOiIl cordis (Munster. the pneuma circulates. 789). Those who touch or listen ore not wounded as are those who gaze or are gazed at fixedly .vc-rednegatively (whether the spiritual U. Victor. 332). lind S{'Iterio-logic. of m311Ysubtleties ltaliamics an error among other errors.. trans. in the Encyclopedie=oo: by this time Harvey had already furnished the new model of the circulation of the blood.disrance. This is the subtle spirit of the Stilnovists. 111C form in which late antiquity passed the problem onto the MIddle Age.. under the name of vapors.9. 10. Burckhardt. 7and 205. 1966). See Hippocrati« 6. book 7. all the consequences of medieval pneumo the Nenplatonic theory conceiving them of a single de fa docHarvard 19. "Et cum altior ct subtilior sit . 1974). De morbo saero I Ii. des Places (Paris. De natura corporis et aninute tPatmlogia Intioo.'nnioru: de] C"'1'(! e della splrito (Florence. See Jaeger. I Ire giorni dell'invisibit luce. Alcher of Clairvaux. 1923). 7. (London. " (And as the spirit that is 15. 3. 11 (in Opcrum.." which found its highest expression in the Stilnovist lyric. 287~88. who artackerl this theory. mixed with blood in the Karystos 5. see GuidoCavalcanti 199. Without a Vila Nuova. kindles an inner fire in the spirits of lovers. Ibid." among other subtleties. 1'''" Psr/(doMagri/i lntina. appendix critical edition nnd trans by E. 24. L Peck (Cambridge.T. Avicenna. the Sphere of Sacrobosco. Cecco d'Ascoli. it should strike the eyes to 1979)." Essays Form and Mcnning: Press. "Jevels" has prevented Neverthetess. Di(lklr~ in the Commentary to Galen. Augustin'(Pads-Lollvain. 1.. rmd Ihe theory of the phantasy. 16. Dodds (Oxford. LICs mysteres orhcma d'Egypte. trine du pncnma au Stoicinnc a St. di Cirone ak.s. Dante Alighieri: Press. in 1il'rlilyThrcc De fiatilm.. has established showing the connections and the magical only (_'a:. De septem scptcnis. 13. On the. aerial body). 285). and. 952). 8.. 1917. of the "divine1i"..~tmdrllir)~' in II cOJ~f}ittofr(] pag(mr sitno e crlstiane- simo nel secola iv (Torino. Des Alfred """ Sarcshc! 14. be "corporeal or incorporeal" pneurnn. Mar- nature of the phantastic of Syncxius as mediator il neoplatonisrno 1968). also De oculis fiber. For example . 26.maJ~y related the bases for" reconstruction between the theory of the rhanlo. 7). 1945). 66. ff. Alfano archi. in ibid.. 39. "Spirito peregrina. which is marvelousty thanks to the spirit that rays \fi"lIInrs.. 40. the Stilnovistx. 195-96. chaps. in Rimatori del dolce stil nova. 3. 1938). "R qucl sottilc spirito che vede" (And that subtle spirir that sees). in Liber d» spiritu el anima (Pilir%gia of the pncuma-ochcma.IS not aware of (he link between sion shows that he held that "spirits tion among other abstractions. through the effect of which mortals achieve and suffer many things . Picatrix: . rendered impracticable. The sight of beautiful things. Das Zicl des H0is~ns." ("and "~ked himself if the organ that receives because dispute on the corporeal 12. 9. in Llacerba. 7. Syml'mia/:al'roiJlPmara. libcv de compngille I11C11ihl'OrI"". According veins. From Aristotle University Press.

having descended to the testicles and changed into semen. but. and that of the aerial body of the soul beyond the grave. a phantastic spirit. as is often repeated. which is familiar to us from Porphyry and Synesius. is formed from the purest and most digested part of the blood. and the "figuring itself" of the shade "according to how desires and other affections afflict us" is but an echo of the Porphyrian theory of the" aerial body" of the demons. but the spirit that. as Klein ':"'ell discerned. where he asks himself what moves the phantasy when.18) that do sometimes so snatch us from outward things that we give no heed. that' 'this spirit comes by the rays of the star. an imagination." that is. almost. who moves you if the sense affords you naught? A light moves you which takes form in heaven. a "thought. poetry itself. chi move te. though a thousand trumpets sound around us. for example. so malleable that it changes form according to their phantasies. The "three spirits" of the beginning of the Vita Nuova do not play an isolated or a purely ornamental allegorical role. The "perfect blood. insofar as it is dictated by inspiring love. over the intellect. The poet was not referring. finds its proper place and its most pregnant meanings. which we have already come across in Synesius. more or less seriously and not without ec~ centricity. as Dante informs us. And. accomplishes its celestial voyage ("beyond the sphere which makes the widest round") and. forms the embryo. of itself." and of "spirits of love" we should not forget what distant but coherent harmonics we are meant to hear resonating in these words. was explicitly affirmed by Dante in the seventeenth canto of the Purgatorio in the celebrated invocation of the' 'imaginative" power. like the statement of a theme at the beginning of a sonata. as we will see. to a medical doctrine. as we can now define it with more precision." has frequently been considered too obscure and This ample and lively scene should serve as the backdrop for our study of the pneumatology of Dante and the Stilnovists. which we have already encountered in the medical tradition. as we know. se '1 senso non ti porge? Moveti lurne che nel ciel s'informa per se 0 per voler che gill 10 scorge. from physiology to cosmology. can detach itself from the body and receive the form of its vision in such a way ("in such a quality") that "my intellect cannot understand it. ch'om non saccorge perche dintorno suonin mille tube. the pneumatic theory of the embryo. so obsessively dominated by the word "spirit. in the Convivio (11 6. which concludes the Vita Nuova. compendiously anticipates the ecstatic voyage of the Com media . and. Thus. caught up in its vision. or by a will that downward guides it. joining itself "in natural vessel" with "[the] other's blood" (v 45). or rather. tPurgatorio [0 imagination. a sonnet like "Pegli occhi {ere un spirito sottile' (Subtle the spirit striking through the eyes). they are woven into a context where all the registers of the pneumatic doctrine can be expected to play.9).. from psychology to soteriology. through the mouth of Statius. The" pilgrim spirit" that. In canto XXV of the Purgatorio Dante expressed. but rather to a unitary system of thought in whose orbit. as we know. The entirety of Stilnovist lyric should be placed under the standard of this pneumatic constellation and only within its orbit does that lyric become fully intelligible.) This concept of the phantastic spirit as the seat and vehicle of the celestial influences.. The doctrine of the "shade" of the souls in purgatory is but a singular transcription of the Neoplaronic idea of the pneuma as a simulacrum in which the soul expiates its punishment (that Origen.]' The solidarity of the astral theme of the Neoplatonic pneuma-ochema with the psychological theme of the phantastic spirit was still alive in Dante when he wrote. emerging from the heart (the seat. it cannot be moved by the sense: lO2 . of the vital spirit).SPIRITS OF LOVE 0 103 Chapter 14 Spirits of Love o imaginativa che ne rube talvolta sf di fuor. and later Ficino would develop in the direction of the purely phantastic reality of infernal torments). Avicenna." of "little spirits. which is never drunk I by the thirsty veins" (vv 37-38) is not simply the blood. . but precisely this limitation here establishes the visionary capacity of the phantastic spirit and its superiority. When Cavalcanti speaks of "subtle spirits. gathers these motifs together in a synthesis that. 13. XVII." (We know from Avicenna that the intellect cannot receive the phantasm unless the phantasm is abstracted from the sensible qualities. the sonnet "Oltre la spera che pili larga gira" (Beyond the sphere which makes the widest round). as some have thought. in many respects.

and from the memory to the whole body.). che 'mrnantenente ne nasce un'altra di bellezza nova. che la mente comprender no la pub. the vital and natural ones). s'i' 'I vo' contare. in the Stilnovists. ch'ogn'altro spiritelllo] fa gentile. che porta uno piacer novo nel core.allegrezza vita. but it presents itself as a rigorous description of the pneumatic mechanism of Eros and a true and proper translationinto pneumatic terms of the phantasmaric psychology of love: Pegli occhi fere un spirito sottile . self-parodic) intention. In the sonnet the subtle spirit strikes through the eyes and arouses the spirit in the mind.» . is always discernible in detail. [Subtle the spirit striking through the eyes Which rouseth up a spirit in the mind Whence moves a spirit into love inclined which breeds in other spirits nobilities No turbid spirit hath the sense which sees How greatly empowered a spirit he appearetn. except that in the ballad the genesis of love is described in phantasmatic terms. the procession of the spirits one from the other is matched by the successive germination of the images of "new beauty" in the ballad: Veggio negli occhi de la donna mia un lume pien di spiriti damore. included in a circulation that is both exasperated and Iul filled in the amorous motion of the spirits.5 Iudeed. an influence from pneuma to pneuma.. He is the little breath which that breath feareth. Perforce of One who seeth all of these. which had been condensed in the Neoplatonic formula of the phantastic pneuma. from the phantasy to the memory. Therefore the phantasm. Which breedeth virginal humilities. di cotanta vcrni spirito appare: quest'e 10 spiritel che fa tremare. per forza d'uno spirito che 'I vede. which Alexander of Aphrodisias had already identified with the glances of lovers.» e La dove questa bella donna appare s'ode una voce che le ven davanti e par che d'umilta il su' nome canti sf dolcemente. restored to the pneumatological context that we have attempted to reconstruct.104 D SPIRITS OF LOVE SPIRITS OF LOVE 0 105 extravagant not to contain a parodic (indeed.? became. but in the ballad the image that seems to detach itself from the lady'S visage impresses its figure in the phantasy. ch 'I' uo la posso a 10 'ntelletto dire: veder mi par de la sua labbia uscire una sf bella donna. Guido was so obsessed with pneumatics that he continually translated the psychological process into his "spiritual" terms: the arrows of love. Cosa maven. And Mercy's spirit as it moves above Rains down those spirits that ope all things else. "made playfully in figures of love. We can easily recognize in the ballad "Veggio negli occhi de la donna mia" (Light do I see within my lady's eyes) an almost point-by-point comparison to the pneumatic mechanism of the preceding sonnet. Yet from this spirit doth another move Wherein such tempered sweetness rightly dwells That Mercy's spirit followeth his ways. E poi da questo spirito si move un altro dolce spirito soave . which refines and makes tremble every other spirit (that is. love is born (the "spirit of loving"). "striking" through the eye. the phantasm. se tu coste' mid. Scntir non po di lu' spirito vile. dal qual si move spirito d'amarc. che. da la qual par ch'una stella si mova e dica: «La salute tua apparita.l ' The subtle spirit that penetrates through the eye is the visual spirit that. che fa 'n la mente spirito destare. as we know. was always conceived as a phantastic pneuma. the object of love. 10 spiritel che fa la donna umilc. seems to be Cavalcanti's fundamental experience. che di ciascuno spirit'ha la chiave. it arouses the spirit found in the cells of the brain and informs it with the image of the lady. not only docs the poem appear comprehensible. sf che vi desta d. From this spirit. is altior et suhtilius (higher and subtler). vedra' la sua verni nel ciel salita. quand'i' Ie son presente. the experience of the pneumatic cycle that goes from the eyes to the phantasy. was for Cavalcanti literally "formed of desire" ("forming of desire a new person". Yet. che sieg[u]e un spiritello di mercede: 10 quale spiritel spiriti piove. In the sonnet. sento che "l su' valor mi fa rremare." and the internal image. e movonsi nellanima sospiri che dicon: «Guarda. such that the perfect symmetry of spirit and phantasm.

come '1 foco moves! in altura per la sua forma ch'e nata a salire lil dove piri in sua matera dura. that inclination is love. There's heard a voice which goes before her ways And seems to sing her name with such sweet praise That my mouth fears to speak what name she heareth." [Here "is intended" does not of course mean "comes to be understood. as we have seen. ch'e moto spiritale. Poi. I seem to see a lady wonderful Forth issue from her lips. the union (copulatio) of the individual with the unique and separate intellect is accomplished. a parte obiecti (with respect to the object). and if. because it has been denuded. Iike / a diaphane by light-of = a darkness / which from Mars ~~comes. cosf l'animo preso eutra in disire. according to Avicenna . resolution of the long-standing debate between the supporters of a Platonic-contemplative interpretation of the Cnvalcanrian theory of love and the supporters of an opposing view. as we know. it consists.l06 [J SPIRITS OF LOVE SPIRITS OF LOVE tJ 107 [Light do I see within my lady's eyes And loving spirits in its plenisphere Which bear in strange delight on my heart's core Till . since it is only an incidental cause of falling in love. as in a game of mirrors. That which befalls me in my lady's presence Bars explanations intellectual.. The so-called Averroism of Cavalcariti does not consist. that inclination is nature which is bound in you anew by pleasure." Only the knowledge of the pneumo-phanrasric ill all of its articulations permits the. at the same time. [1 say to] who hears well. in the fact that the phantasm (the phantastic pneuma). quel piegare amor. which would ental! a. is precisely that in which. is now excluded as inessential (cf'. to the phrase "tragge intenzione" (draws forth the intention) from the eighteenth canto of Dante's Purgatorio. divided from essence I fixed-in a dark medium. inver' di lei si piega. so that it makes the mind turn to it." obscure style of making poetry). moves marvelous From whom a star goes forth and speaketh thus: "La.loy's awakened from that sepulchre. Thus shall thou see her virtue risen in heaven. is united to the individual. quell' natura che per piacer di novo in voi si lega. contemplation [in that it IS the obsessive' cogitatio (meditation) of the internal phantasm] and concupiscence (in that the desire has as its origin and immediate object the phantasm: "that is the phantasy that gives rise to the whole desire. While far in my soul's deep the sighs astir Speak thus: "Look well! For if thou look on her. it [love] abrades light. but a "single amorous experience" that is. thus turned.. and is the bearer of salvation because in that image the possible intellect-separate and unique. a consequence a pessimistic conception of eros and a rigorous separation from the possible intellect." in the words of Jean Gerson). swift born. thy salvation is gone forth from thee. the form is not seen") in the proud awareness of the self-sufficiency of the imagination: "Out of color. does the medieval supremacy of the imaginary and its "optic" interpenetration with the real find such an animated and at the same time meticulous expression as here: the appearance of the phantasm -in the phantasy is hardly fixed in the memory when suddenly. The double aspect-> phantasmatic and pneumatic-of eros is evoked in the double genesis of love suggested by verses 16-18 and 21~23: to the pneumatic-astral aspect correspond the verses" .] The rigorously phanrasmatic character of the amorous experience is reiterated in the canzone in terms so extreme that even the sense of sight." But Dante too conceived of love in this way When he linked together its genesis and nature in the four exemplary tercets he put in the mouth of Virgil: Vostra apprensiva da essere verace tragge intenzione. in a limitation of the erotic experience to the sensitive soul. so formed . rivolto. from material modifications). is nevertheless clearly illuminated if we restore it to the complex of doctrine thatwe have attempted to resuscitate. and stays. Then.22-33) e e [Your faculty of apprehension draws an image from a real existence and displays it within you. an image of "bellezza nova" (new beauty) is formed in the intellect (new." but corresponds perfectly. e se. even as fire moves upwards by reason of its form. v." There where this lady's loveliness appeareth. being born to ascend thither where it lasts longest in its matter. e rnai non posa fin che la cosa amata il fa gioire. "t' Never. (Purgatorio XVIlI. And my heart trembles for the grace she weareth. There are not "two loves" (lovc-as-contemplarion and concupiscent love)." and to the phanrasrnaticpsychological corresponds the verse "It comes hom a seen form that is intended. as has been affirmed. one whom no sense Can fully tell the mind of and one whence Another fair. 65: "and. ~ The famous canzone"Donna me prega.. the mind inclines toward it. sf che I'animo ad essa volger face. . as in a mirror. origin and subject of love. On the contrary. perhaps.." the axis ofCavalcanti's trobar clus C closed. e dentro a voi la spiega.

constantly ·YV. appear problematically and inextricably joined. "Cur amantium exrrernae partes modo frigidae sunt . 2. (Princeton: Conn. Only this complex cultural inheritance can explain the characteristic dimension." inserted. the penis proves this.the same that would later lead the humanists to reevaluate melancholy positively=-in which the obsessive emphasis of a pathological experience well known to medical diagnostics goes hand in hand with its soteriological ennoblement. has been reduced to the limits of an entirely secondary medical theory.nmblir:m mentioned 1537. as the soul's inclination and turning. almost HS if in a mirror. The proof of this polarity is contained in a chapter of the history of medicine in which love assumes the dark saturnine mask of a malady "similar to melancholy" that desiccates the face and eyes of lovers and plunges them into madness and death. jointly and in equal measure. VY. statim quippc ut quis aspexit. in response to the question: extremities Angeli Poliriani. thus mortal disease and salvation. 3. both real and unreal. But in what way did the "phantastic spirit" become a "spirit of love"? If the meeting between Eros and the phantasm took place near the miroers perilleus of Narcissus. 1973). One of these. "leva pharetra sagittk referta plurihus. love. makes it erect . which is a spiritual movement. quasi tela jactat . the other. corporeal and incorporeal. 263-64a. as we have seen. Lugduni.. Xl. diffused through the nerves immediately reaches the member and.. as we have seen." Only with the Stilnovists. reaches the brain. so too the pneumatic nature of love. had been COIlsidered for some time as a pneumatic penetration through the glance. English trrmslation Hyperion from 711e SOIlIl('I'. Charles S. the heart is strongly shaken and from this shaking two spirits are born. that erotic experience retains in the Stilnovisr experience. 4-7). quoninrn principia amor per radium oritur unum oculorum. privation and fulfillment. are abolished. 9··11. recurs in D~J1te and the Stiluovists.asm "intended·' in the mind. even when it has been understood. a pneumo-phaniasmology. in what circumstances did the winged god. mechanism hot 311(1 sometimes cold?) Latin (. the first spirit. modo calidtee?" by Angelo in Cav:llronti (Why are the Poliziano in of lovers sometimes Opera. Press. Singleton (WEstport. vol.1 Purgruorio. "For sexual excitement is due to breath (pneuma). a "spiritual movement" and a phantasmaric process. obscuration and illumination. make his entrance into the severe pneumatic doctrine? And in what measure is this convergence between 'love and pneuma an original discovery of the poets of love? The pneumo-phantastic character of Eros had been recognized by a medical tradition in which the passions of the mind were firmly inscribed in the circula- tion of the spirits. in the medical tradition and in the Neoplatonic doctrine of the "phantastic spirit" and had led to that reevaluation of the phantasy as the mediator between body and soul and as the seat of magical and divine influences. The union ofphantasmology and pneumatology has already been accomplished. Ballads 179. 27. and passing through two channels pours itself into the testicles 9 In the field of the theory of fascination. The sociological hypothesis that sees courtly love as primarily a social phenomenon has so insistently dominated research on the origins of love poetry that very rarely has an analysis of its structural elements as they appear in the texts themselves been undertaken. reaches the spinal marrow through the kidneys . love itself is defined as a "spiritual movement" and inserted in the movement of pneumatic circulation.ghieri: The Divine Comedy. The pneumatic (in Rlmatori del dolce stil novo. was the theory of the pneuma fused with the theory of love. of falling in love. . in medieval medical treatises. . trans. as it quickly increases from small to large because of the breath in it. which is more dense. desire and its object. however. thanks to the projection of thc dualistic soul/body scheme on a conception whose intention was precisely to mediate and overcome this opposition. which we said was found in the brain. but this phantasm is a "spirit. [lost trcqucntcs ad rem amntnrn radios min it. '111. In Galen the erotic pneumatology maintains all of its physiological crudity and the' 'spiritual movement" of love is of a piece with the erection of the member and the formation of the sperm: When someone is through one of the five senses stimulated to love.. physiological and soteriological. around the phant. of Aristotelian origin. nmnvit. This malady appears. is fused with Stoic-medicalNeoplatonic pneumatology in an experience that is. They had the intuition of a polarity. English translation from Dante (\f. insinuating itself between the nerves and the membranes that form it and coil around it. J8 If the genetic process of love is here described in the phantasmatic terms of the psychology that is hy now familiar to us.. XXVlll. objective and subjective.108 0 SPIRITS OF LOVE SPIRITS OF LOVE 0 109 so the captive mind enters into desire. as such. the more subtle. vv. which finds its exemplary model in the work of Hugh of SI. under the name of amor hereos (heroic love).. armed with arrows. Ezra Pound 2.: Princeton University Press. in a pneumaric circle in which the limits separating internal and external. trails. The object of love is in fact a phantasm. Victor. in which the theory of the phantasm. which "kindles an internal fire in the mind of the lover. The p""age is in book 1 of the Problems of Alexander of Aphrodisias. 9-12. in the sense we have demonstrated. Notes 1. 4. 1983). notwithstanding its explicit and unequivocal affirmation by the poets. Xtl. . of Guido CnmIUlI1f. . has almost always eluded coherent research (because of the misunderstood supposition that a phantastic experience was necessarily irrelevant for the understanding of a "social phenomenon' '). and never rests until the thing loved makes it rejoice. hot and dry. Just as the rigorously phantasmatic character of amorous experience. receiving from this [brain] a certain humidity." we read in a passage of Aristotle's Problems concerning the calamitous erotic inclination of melancholies.We can now affirm without hesitation that the Stilnovist theory of love is.

although because of it he call himself subject to so many torments. ph. by so doing. chap. understanding of love . trans. has not to my knowledge been studied" The vague semantic connotation of the adjective "heroic" in modern use has evidently been accepted as more than sufficient for the understanding of the text.it belongs to rhe Hcli"c intellect to \Indcntolld separate sHh~t<1ntes.d <::uhstnnc-es becomes possible. 83. the "e1\' "I contc1nplntion igituf quod.. XXIX. and in particular in this passage of the Furori.1ntmn est forma lntdJ. suffers heartache and pain. of the Stnnnu: contra gl"1!iirs.. Unde cum ad i1!1"eJlec-tmnagen tunc Sllhs-trlnli. . belng deus" ["Cnmtcl'lCntly. just 8S now \\. because he will not for that fail to recognize the debt that he has to love._HTl eorum. and thank it for having presented to the eyes of his mind an intelligible species. consisls ~i/\ [)hHn. citing the opinion of Averroes: See Saint'Ibomas. he.1·:··•. His love is here indeed heroic and divine..)~ sc-paratas) sicut nunc in- homi'1i~ fclicitns.: ··. ill qua homo erit sicur quidnm are joined to us by phanalso is joined to M.iOIlnomne. 97]. chap. as he is joined in his affections.. wishes he might be joined in effect). Bums. I (Florence. He does not sorrow because of desire. et. ·•··•· t f. wherein m:lIl. Oates and W. Thl~ . girded by these tendons and nerves. TlIP Sonnet» lind Ballad" of Guido Ca1"rd('lItlli. .. 11. who is disjoined or separated fromthe beloved (to whom. "'. enclosed in this prison of flesh. v. Galena ascriptus liberde r:rmlJ1ogin(' mcmbror-nn. etiam intcllccrns agens continuctnr 10 qll.C 1mde-rst. . This will be mall's u1timate happiuess. Let others then judge him unhappy in his place because of this appearance of ill fate. XXXI.·:mdthe Averroisr a~ser6r:m~·'n(Jv/ \vcH documcnrcd Kristeller. .md c::reC-Hlath~("knowledge. and steadied by these bones.c("tonnn spC'(ula~i\'Qnll11 . vo!. while in this earthly life. in which.)t~t. Consequently.. but because of the difficulty of his zeal. considering that he feels his love to be nobly and worthily employed.lc::" intclligcmus s telligllTIlls intef1ecta speculnriva. 3 (London. I92S). 22. 1 The origin and meaning of the expression "heroic love" in Bruno's text. which puts him on the rack._ The nexus is provided by the fact that.-."r~il1('at intclligere Su-t'{.rlk~ltrd to GT Cavalcanti. \': -:'. Dante Allghicri: The Divine Comedy: 1'1II~~i1In"i(!. we lose precisely the significance that the choice of expression must have had for Bruno=-who had by no means III . Singleton.mb"" "Oportet Chapter 15 of the ne'". Charles S.'Itu~(h". not because he loves.ophk~rTrp.':=. 425"63-lh"t ill the ('ont['mp]il!-~nn of the separate of the. in Stu{N in onore di for Cavalcnnti's Between Narcissus and Pygmalion D\'.e same prineip!e~ (spec:ul<ltive principles) tasms.lllt~"n also permus tile. per ph~mla~m. which he would obtain if he were to reach that goal to which he inclines. principles ." B.=:tsep~lrnt. since ti1e. What has not been realized is that.trans. 7.af~~e from Bologna 1955). . of the ph. because every lover.1100 SPIRITS OF LOVE 5. 17. English Dominir-an Fathers. Ibid. which animates him. hoc edt Idtimn ~'ubjer:ll. Y. it is allowed to him to contemplate more highly the divinity than if any other species and similitude of it were offered. it follows that tht. active intdloct > • Ihe form of those. quurn inrellecra ~('rilr:l:t('. vol.. Nardi. 9. 6.inc<'. tel11 pi. tortures and torments himself.tC1nti. 43t sint nobis copnl:\t:l that is the object of love. but became he is deprived of that fruition.. between the theory milieu as welt see PO. 8.. which are a kind of . spcrulnliva book 3.uhjcd thereof. quae sun! quasi quodd~m nohiscum. will be a god as it were! \ Saint Thomas Aquinas: The Silmma Contra Gentiles. as if it had condemned him to such pains. 191. through tho contemplation ultimate hoppiness con he :Jt("jncd ill this life and :::::ubsfilnn'. and so I wish to take it.

that is. When someone is seized by love for a woman. Then he should be encouraged to love many women. her figure. better. Or he should be told something very pleasing. The sufferers have profound and hidden imaginings with sorrowful sighs. and beautiful things to see. thinking that if hc could satisfy his desire. such that by love for one he will be distracted from his love for the other.. describes the disease in these terms: The disease called hereos is a melancholy suffering caused by love for a woman. Cause. Because of this the whole body then [when afflicted with hereos} moves without any rational order and runs night and day from street to street without heeding heat and cold and all dangers . in the presence of the lady. to the bright and luminous world of the heroes. then he should be told something very sad. bird song and instrumental music.. and as happiness is the perfection of love. because he thinks and believes that she is the most beautiful the most venerable the most extraordinary. 3 This does not mean that there are not creative and revolutionary moments of that history (the history of the expression "heroic love" illustrates just such a moment). that Western culture develops and transforms itself through a process of "polarization" of the received cultural tradition. so that she [the beloved] should be " defamed and dishonored . such that.. commands the imaginative and the concupiscible. but it becomes rapid.. . And if by this he is not persuaded to abandon her. at the complete semantic inversion of these givens. and ' because he ardently desires her.diverted it from an ancient and still living tradition. . The prognosis is that if they 'are not cured they fall into mania or die. an incarnate devil. of judgment day. immediately they begin to weep and become saddened. we request the help and advice of old women. habitually fell prey to this malady. Cure. and manner. as Ovid says: I urge you to have two lovers. so hereos is the perfection of love.. Then he should be kept busy with some necessary activity . . until arriving. let the old woman begin to mar the lady's blouse saying that she is scabby and a drunkard. The cause of this afflictionis a corruption of the estimative faculty (of discernment) by means of a form and a figure that remains strongly impressed in it. And so altered is the judgment of his reason.4 The attentive reader will have immediately noticed that Gordonio's description contains nearly all the elements of the erotic theory that we have attempted . for example that he has been made seneschal or bailiff or that he has been assigned a large benefice . crying out: thus is your ladyfriend. despite everything. And it is called hereos because lords and nobles. except for the eyes. The Lilium medicate of Bernard Gordonio. we almost inevitably happen upon the rubric de amore qui hereos dicitur (or de amore heroico). frequent. as we might expect. scents. he shonld be frequently and strongly flogged until he is all beaten and bruised. and strong if thc lady they love is named or if she passes in front of them . 2 The reconstruction of this history constitutes a confirmation of what Aby Warburg had already demonstrated for the history of images.112 0 BETWEEN NARCISSUS AND PYGMALION BETWEEN NARCISSUS AND PYGMALION 0 113 invented it. they immediately laugh and sing. without measure or hesitation. thus. if someone speaks to him. In the first case he should he removed from that false imagination at the hands of a man whom he fears and he should he made ashamed by words and admonitions showing him the dangers of the world. conservative. finally. that she is epileptic and shameless. in certain cases. Signs. which is the highest of the sensitive powers. then the old woman should suddenly bring forth the soiled cloth in front of his face. Prognosis. The sufferer either obeys reason or does not. he strongly conceives of her form. And as he is in incessant meditation. . and most endowed in body and soul. he scarcely manages to understand. . the concupiscible in turn the irascible. if there is no other remedy. hut simply that=because every culture is essentially a process of transmission and of Nachleben (afterlifej-c creation and revolution work in general by "polarizing" what is given by tradition. because of the abundance of their delights. woods. but had received it or. if on the other hand they hear of loves reestablished. but to the dark and sinister realm of medical pathology and Neoplatonic demonology. If we open a treatise of medieval medicine to the section devoted to cerebral pathology. food.. and the joys of paradise. Find therefore a hideous old woman with big teeth and a beard. but. to go to places where there are flowering meadows. In case he should not obey reason. . and it is conservative precisely to the extent that it is progressive and revolutionary. his condition comes to be defined as a melancholy affliction. with an ugly and vile dress and who carries under her lap a cloth soiled with menses. and if they hear songs about separations caused by love. and he should be taken to distant places so that he should see various and diverse things . he would reach his blessedness and his happiness. If he is not" persuaded by this. and the irascible that power that moves the muscles. that she wets her bed.. The symptoms [of this disease] are the omission of all sleep. if he is a young man on whom the whip may still be used. after the chapters given over to mania and melancholy. European culture is. The power of discernment. hills. then he is not a man. that in her body there are enormous growths full of stench and other disgusting things about which old WOmen are well informed. It is also helpful to change habits and to meet with friends. Their pulse is variable and disordered. that it continually imagines the form of the lady and abandons all of its activities. and the whole body weakens. . or even more if possible. and drink. so that the greater sorrow will obscure the lesser. professor at Montpellier about 1285. In fact the expression "heroic love" has a long history that does not refer us.

The radical treatment Guido suggests to Manette is in fact precisely that proposed by the doctor of Montpellier: the repugnant sight of the "Iittle scarecrow" next to the "lovely noble lady" will have the inevitable effect of curing with a guffaw any love malady or melancholic disease whatsoever ("you wouldn't be in such a fierce rage I or be so anguished because of love lor so wrapped up in melancholy"). look upon this scarecrow). because it is precisely this estimative or evaluative faculty [defined as "Ia virtu che consiglia I e de I'assenso de'tener la soglia' (the power that advises I and guards the threshold of consentj] that Dante evoked to establish the liberty arid responsibility of the love experience in the passage of the Purgatorio (XVIII. the humanists. . its pneumatic character. appears in this light as a kind of self-conscious reversal of. that of the ugly ·crone who." If what we have said is true. but an incarnate deviL" In the pathology of amor hereos we also find the second essential element of the theory of love. "And if by this he is not persuaded to abandon her. through the grotesque contrast of her person. among the remedies the physicians most insistently recommended for curing amor hereos. in flowering gardens where birds sing and nightingales are heard . This topological specification is not without import. Just as. The error of the estimative faculty (commanding the imagination. Even the extravagant cure recommended by Gordonio. and woods with friends and companions. that is.. more precisely. not even those of the emperor.. the most extraordinary. that is. "such that they confuse the judgment and. which is. which does not succeed in cooling them." wrote the physician Valesco of Taranta. in which the imagination resides. deceive men and lead them astray. in the psychology of Avicenna.114 L1BETWEEN NARCISSUS AND PYGMALION BETWEEN NARCISSUS AND PYGMALION 0 115 to reconstruct in the preceding pages. in 8 pathological form.. "It is beneficial. and most endowed in body and soul"). the poets did not tire of repeating that no circumstances. Specifically. the contemplative man. or rather. traced the cause of the error of the estimative power to a defect not of the faculty itself. which is perhaps the fullest treatment of the subject. The exalted overestimation of the object oflove. in the De amare qui heroycus nominatur (Of the love called heroic). dims and extinguishes the effects of the overestimation of the love object. which is among the most characteristic intuitions of the love poets. two centuries later. following a tradition whose emblem has forever fixed itself on the winged genius of DUrer's Melcncolia. is the faculty situated at the summit of the middle cavity of the brain that apprehends the insensible intentions in sensible objects and judges their goodness or evil. Arnaldo of Villanova. in a vicious circle in whose orbit Eros comes to assume the dark saturnine mask of the melancholic pathology. "to walk through meadows. dries out and retains more strongly the phantasm that torments the erotic passion." the voice of Gordonio's clinical experience disconsolately concludes. Above all the phantasrnatic aspect of the amorous experience." and desire drives imagination and memory to turn obsessively around the phantasm that impresses itself ever more strongly. which was one of the most tenacious acquisitions of the love-psychology of the poets.i which. as early as the ninth century in the sections on cerebral diseases found in medical treatises. in the mouth of Virgil. Manette. orchards. According to the physicians. the eclipse of this faculty sets in motion the pa~ thology of amor hereos . the forward cell of the brain. finds its detailed pneumatic explanation in the works of the physicians. Dante patently repudiates "Ia gente che' avvera I ciascun amor in se laudabil cosa" (the people who confirm I every love as praiseworthy in itself). whose seat is in that same part "dove arnore alberga" (where love resides). In Dante's sonnet "Per quella via che hi bellezza corre" (Along that way which beauty runs) the tower that opens when the soul consents and that is instead closed before the joyful phantasm of Lisetta. "then he is not a man. finds thus its prosaic explanation precisely in the defect of the estirnati ve power ("he thinks and believes that she is the most beautiful. the most venerable. is here explicitly reconfirmed. which is perhaps the most persistent and exemplary topos of Provencal lyric. modeled the physiognomy of their loftiest human ideal. compare with the joy of love. underwent a radical semantic reversal. We find almost all the elements that characterize the noble love of the poets in the gloomy syndrome "similar to melancholy" that the physicians outlined under the rubric of amor hereos.35-36) where. placed above the other powers) releases desire. The disease of hereos is in fact located by Gordonio in the imagination.7 Precisely because of this excess of heat and dryness. quella scrignuruzza" (Come. Perhaps by way of an analogous denial of the therapeutic pretenses of the physicians (' 'he should be told something very pleasing. but hom a polarization of the mortal "heroic" disease of the medical tradition that. but to its instrument. as it were inebriating them. The whole complex mechanism of sighs. pleasure) so characteristic of the poetry of the troubadours. on the grim saturnine features of what an ancient medical tradition . But even more surprising is finding locus amoenus. alludes to this faculty. we can affirm that something similar to the love experience as the poets would come to understand and describe it made its ap· pearance in Western culture. the remedies of love recommended by the physicians. whose playful intent is clarified precisely in reference to an absolutely serious medical therapy. is not without its counterpart in the love poetry. Manetto. it permits us to read in a new way Cavalcanti's sonnet "Guarda. in its turn. so ceremoniously presented in the experience of the poets. to the spirits that flow "copious and almost boiling" in the central cavity of the brain. in the estimaiiva. for example that he has been made seneschal or bailiff or that he has been assigned a large benefice"). This means that the reevaluation of love effected by the poets beginning in the twelfth century did not arise from a rediscovery of tbe "high" conception of Eros that the Phaedrus and the Symposium had bequeathed to the Western philosophical tradition. and defiant challenge to. suitability or unsuitability. but with a negative connotation. in the encounter with what Warburg would have called the "selective will" of the period. " The conjunction of the locus amoenus with the supreme exaltation of amorous joi (joy..

among other places. That. in general. it is equally true that the "polarizations" through which a period affirms its own novelty with respect to the past are.116 CJ BETWEEN NARCISSUS AND j'YGMALlON BETWEEN NARCISSUS AND PYG!vIALlON 0 117 considered the most wretched of temperaments. formulated already in Dante's figure of Matelda. Thus what had been. (Aby Warburg used to speak. and Proclus. still alive in the medieval concept of theseparated intellect. however. the poetic theory of love) reattaches itself. with its essentially unitary connotation but which may orient itself in opposing directions. The semantic. reconnects itself with Neoplatonic thought. 9 The proof of this origin is furnished by the very name of amor hereos. In this case. reappears in the Renaissance topic of the ecstatic dancing "nymph" and has its final symbolic offshoots in the Fetes galontes of Wattean and the bathers ofCezanne. albeit by oblique and mediated ways. but without characteriving it semantically as positive or negative.) Thus the reassessment of melancholy was certainly one of the means through which humanism affirmed its own new attitude toward the world." In the wake of the fantastic etymology of the Cratylus (but with a semantic intensification that bears witness to the new role that the heroes played in the Neoplatonic revival). already found in an imaginary etymology from Plato's Cratylus. are here inserted in the hierarchy of the superhuman creatures that proceed from the Orie and that reveal themselves in theurgic practices. given the substantial affinity between melancholy and amor hereos. beyond its failure to explain the singularly bilingual term amor hereos. at least from the twelfth century onward. which comes to be reactualized and polarized in its encounter with the new epoch. The adjective heroycus found. so too the poets fashioned what would become the noblest spiritual experience of modern European man in the mold of a mortal illness of the imagination. enacted an audacious and radical reversal of the medical theory of heroic love was it possible for the humanists. two centuries later. despite everything. to proceed with their own reassessment of the saturnine temperament. This is in accordance with a code that. where Socrates playfully derives the word hero (heros) from love (eros) "because the heroes are generated by Eros. "J[] has been plausibly fulfilled in the context of a Neoplatonic rebirth of the popular cult of heroes and of theurgic demonology. among other things. I land which the Hippocratic treatise on the sacred malady already listed among the causes of mental sickness. through the demonological classification of cosmic theurgy. Indeed. the great innovations are frequently effected departing from elements received from tradition. said that "the army of the heroes moves drunken. the double polarity of tristitia-acedia in the patristic tradition. of cultural symbols as "dynamograrns" or electric condensers that transmit an electric charge in all its tension. but its homonym on the other side. we can say that only because the poets. the idea of happiness should appear intertwined with the notion of the restoration of the "sweet play" of Edenic innocence= that happiness should be. the lucid poetic project of love as fulfillment and restoration of Edenic innocence still survives unconsciously in the contemporary aspiration to a liberation of sexuality as the condition of happiness. The "spirits of the deceased" linked to ancient local cults. to the inheritance of the philosopher who had made of love the highest initiatory experience of the soul. in Arnaldo of Villanova. Thus. in the bosom of the inheritance transmitted by tradition. can only derive from this term. speaking of the demonic hierarchies ecstatically extended toward the divine. or pandcmiav became in the Western tradition a single Eros strongly polarized in the lacerating tendencies between two oppositely valued extremes. Curiously. in the classical concept of the black bile. this connection concerns not celestial love. and conjoin the latter with the former.is the specific trait (even if rarely perceived as such) of the modern Western conception of happiness. he explained the phrase "illustrious heroes" tagathoi heroes) of the Pythagorean poem in the following manner: "For good reason they are called illustrious heroes. If it is true that. around beauty. was indubitably made possible by the existence. in this connection. heroes (heroes) in that they are loves . That reassessment. in that they are good (agathoi) and luminous (photeinoi) and never touched by vice or forgetfulness. The Freudian idea of the libido."l2 In his commentary on the Carme aureo (Golden poem or song) of Pythagoras. together with the angels and demons. the tension reflects an origin extraneous to the medical orbit in the strict sense that. And it is to the fact that the highest moral ideal is indivisible from a "low" and phanrasmatic experience. the dark figure of love as a disease (and. appem'S in this perspective as a late but legitimate descendant of the medieval idea of love. also disregards the explicit affirmations of the medical sources that invariably understand the term hereos through its association with hems (erus) or heros. The De mysterlis of Iamblichus minutely describes what distinguishes the epiphany and influence of heroes with respect to demons and to archons. Lowes's hypothesis. HS a potential tension. through it. however. beginning in the twelfth century. Lowes claims that the name hereos derives from a mistaken. in other words. Although remote from its originary impulse. the celestial and the vulgar. convergence of love and the hero. in the history of culture. The pathological figure of amor hcrcos also contains in itself such a potential tension. rendered possible by the preexistence. that we likely owe the ambiguous character of every modern Western conception of happiness. Latin transcription of the Greek eros. Hierocles defined the heroes as "an intermediate race of rational natures who occupy the place after the immortal gods. inseparable from the project of a redemption and a fulfillment of the corporeal Eros=. in contrast to the Greek contemplative ideal of theoria as teleia eudaimonia (perfect happiness). in Plato. of an ambiguity that was already present in Aristotle (whose Problems states that those who have the most genius belong to this most wretched of temperaments). precede human nature. that "love of the diseased part" of which the physician Eurixymachus spoke in the Symposium. a clear opposition between two "Loves" (which had a distinct genealogy going back to two Venuses. of which he thinks he discerns traces in a Latin manuscript of the sixth century containing a highly inaccurate transcription of the Synopsis by the Greek physician Oribasius. The continuity of this ambiguity is attested by.

who take us from this earthly sojourn and elevate us. using almost the same words. already offer all the characteristics of aerial demoniciry: they dwell in the air and influence men by inspiring them with signs indicating disease and health. in classifying five species of living things and the elements corresponding to them (fire. according to Greek legend. and interpreters of all things. named an intermediate species between the ethereal demons and the earthly creatures probably influenced the construction of the Ncoplatonic hierarchy of demons. . E. seeing that the middle ranks of creatures can flit so lightly over the earth and the whole universe. a higher and more august kind of demons. The universe being thus full throughout of living creatures. who hold the rank next to them. l7 It is not easy to specify at what moment the "aerial demon" of the Epinotnis. "). would be called "heroes" if (as I said) the usage of the Church allowed it. chapter 21 of the De civitate Dei (The city of God). in The Collected Dialogues of Plato. 18 The identification with the aerial demon is attested by an etymology whose origin is probably Stoic and which is frequently found in the fathers of the church from Augustine on. The passage is as follows: After them and below them. does "hero-eros" acquire the negative valuation that survives as sole component in the medical doctrine of amor hereos." This passage shows that the juxtaposition of the hero and love was originally made in a positive constellation of ideas. . the negative polarity of demonology. to love ("Possessing what power?" . The Greek name of Juno is Hera. whereas a god who enjoys the fullness of deity is clearly above both pain and pleasure. according to a tradition that for Diogenes Laertius goes hack as far as Pythagoras.]4 It is presumably this correspondence that has facilitated the movement toward a progressive identification of love and the aerial demon. .118 0 BETWEEN NARCISSUS AND PYGMALION BETWEEN NARCISSUS AND PYGMALION Dj 19 as it were the dialectical beloved ones and lovers of god. already present with an impressive wealth of detail in Porphyry's De abstinentia (where. and that only through a lengthy historical process. and that is why one or another of her sons was called Heros. "Interpreting and transporting human things to the gods. they all. Cairns (Princeton: Princeton University Press. In book 10. are wholly transparent. Both sorts of creature. those of aether and those of air. This myth evidently signifies. the aerial demon (known simply as "aerial") acts on the human phanrastic spirit and as air in the presence of light. of a kind that is quick to learn and of retentive memory. According to this theory. to one another and to the highest gods. . we shall say. A passage of Chalcidius (who transmitted to the Middle Ages the demonology of the Epinomis) says of the aerial demon: "In that it is closer to the earth. suggesting to us actions and thoughts and exciting in us forms and memories. appears already fused with the doctrine of the phantasric spirit as the vehicle of fascination and falling in love. although on the one hand the mediating function of the demons and (eroes) and lovers (erotes).") 5 In Apuleius (who. though in cryptic fashion. doing the office of interpreters. not because of any association with the . transmit them to our spirit. assuming form and color. 1961). anel the forms they wish. 984e-985b. . the heroes were identified by Hierocles with the angels of Hebrew and Christian theology: "Sometimes they arc also called angels. come in order the daemons and the creatures of the air (aerion genos). who now becomes the specific agent of the erotic pathology.' 13 From this point of view. freed from the corporeal chains and bonds. the waking and frequently arouse our loins and inspire us to unhealthy and evil loves. and of Psellus became identified with the "hero" resuscitated by the ancient popular cults. For they are not exempt from feeling pain. transmits these to those bodies that arc by nature disposed to receive them (as in the case of mirrors). Our martyrs. however. . . . of its phantasms and ravings. . but the very evil with deep aversion. of Chalcidius. ed. [Epinontis. it is the most suitable to the passions of the affections. At the same time thew is an accentuation of the obscure and sinister character of the aerial demon. The identification of the aerial demon and Eros is so complete that Psellus explicitly affirmed that the aeri al demons shoot" fiery arrows' that are highly remiriiscent of the fiery spiritual darts of the god of love. ether. who.16 InPsellus. in contrast. to the divine city. however close they are to us. they go undiscerned. on the other hand Love is explicitly classified among the aerial demons and in fact occupies an eminent position among them: "There is . the elaboration of love potions is put under theinfluence of malefic powers). was quite familiar to Christian thinkers). they read all our thoughts and regard the good and noble with signal favor. earth). water. in that they manifest and announce to us the rules of the blessed life. Hamilton and H. among other things. so we shall say. a father of the church and late Neoplatonie philosopher. which includes the encounter with theurgic magic and the conflict with Christianity. The passage of the Epinomis where Plato. their identification with the aerial element are precisely reaffirmed. They thus evoke images of pleasures and of passions in both the sleeping and. 1526-27] The mediating function that the Epinomis assigns to the aerial demons corresponds perfectly to what in the Symposium (202e) is attributed. Certainly the heroes. that Juno is assigned the power over [lie air. because of the polemic with Augustine. so too the bodies of the demons. . taking from the interior phanrasric essence the shapes. . which contains a passionate refutation of Ncoplatonic thcurgy. act as interpreters. air. Augustine defined the Christian martyrs as "nosrros heroas" (our heroes): "Hero" is said to be derived from the name of Juno. though possessed of all-embracing wisdom and knowledge. and should be peculiarly honored in our prayers that they may transmit comfortable messages.. are charged with a determinate power: among these arc Sleep and Love. who hold the third and midmost rank. Being. colors.

G.. L. If the physicians suggested coitus as the principal cure for amor hereos and recommended whatever might withdraw the patient from his or her "false imagination. a "demonic" image of Eros had already been fashioned-at least in the literary sources-in late antiquity. his ignorance of Lowes's 3. Gnrnbrich . though certainly not before the thirteenth century. but the low and dark passion inspired by the hero-aerial demon." achieved in the alchemical crucible in which Neoplatonism joined itself in fertile union to Christian thought. is among the most f~rtile legacies of polori!y in Warhllrg's Biography (London. amor reconstructed in Chaucer's the semantic history of the expression its occurrence Tale. directed toward a global comprehension has left to the science (If culture. it also. from Neoplatonic theurgy to pneumo-phantasmology. which had remained so peculiarly obscured in the classical tradition. Bruno.241 work see the passages in Prospcttivc generally cited in Ernst H." 19 This triple semantic patrimony Eros-hera-aerial demon. l020-87): of Constantine the first is a trans- . It should not be forgotten. Warburg and 248.120 D m. hasundoubtedly influenced the poetic reevaluation of love. but he held that it "must have been imagined well before Barberino wrote his treatise. emerges in the sinister and "demoniac" image of an Eros that Plutarch. Opere itnlianc. heroic love. already described as a small monster equipped with fangs and claws. 238~67. "Unfortunntely Lowes's study has to Romance philologists and Italinnist«. part I. He attempted to reconstitute its prototype through the illustration of the Documenti d'amore of Francesco of Barberino. a "high" model (for example. and beyond that. Just 8S Neoplatonic phantasmatic theurgy had certainly contributed to the formation of erotic soteriology. Warburg notion of polarity. From this point of view. 2 (Bari. of course. which shows Love. can Eros find its own place between Narcissus and Pygmalion? Notes l. a figure belonging to the spectral retinue of Hecate. dialogue 3. remained Arnaldo deserves unknown De gli eroici furori. witf respect of Villanova 'Loveres for having Maladye of Hereos. Ouly this proximity to a morbid and demonic experience of the imagination can at least partially explain the medieval discovery of the phantasmatie character of the pro- cess of love. must have furnished the iconographic model for that "lowly and mythographic" Cupid that Panofsky thought to be at the origin of the representation of Love with claws in place of feet in the Giottesque allegory of chastity and in the fresco in the castle of Sabbioneta." 4. of Villanova arc perhaps sc llama (July-September agrees Imcltcctua! "A. The rediscovery culture. of the "powers of the air. outside of any Christian influence. This figure. because.to attribute fangs and claws to Eros. substantially ours. instead. according to Hippocrates. then we cannot understand what is unique and specific in the discovery of the poets. without avoiding or skipping. is still. quoted c la scienza 1970). with fangs and claws. if not the very formulation amor hereos of the medical tradition. that a positive polarity was potentially implicit. Lowes." dantesr« (Milano-Napoli. the Platonic theory of celestial love) is posited as an origin. had been included III the medical theory of amor hereos. In fact the positive polarization of Eros coincides in the poets with the decline of its phantasmatic character. along with lethal danger.22 Heroic love is not initially the noblest and loftiest love. vol. with all of its ambiguities and contradictions. does not question study. in a passage of Proclus. hereos. 491-591. so too the reevaluation of tile "phantastic spirit. The origin of the unusual motifof Eros standing on a horse should likely be sought in the context of idolopoietic theurgy.' "Knight's " in Modern Philology 11 (April J914). of Goethe's that A. which undermined men by inspiring in them insane passions. On the thought senza nome. 2J Thus in the context of Neoplatonic tradition a "low" figure of Eros-hero-aerial demon had already taken shape. J. Warlmrg: An of War burg see G. as we have seen. Thus the "mortal malady" of the imagination must be traversed completely. Lngduni. of nightmares and mental disease). The most ancient descriptions the African (c. at a certain point. as we have seen. and the Viaticun 1586).f" We must learn to see these obscure and demonic traits behind the noble appearance of the god of love of the poets. This heroicdemoniac figure of Eros. then at least of its interpretation as amor heroycus. but as the conquerors of those demons." 23 In reality. so the medical doctrine of amor hereos expressed the pathological and negative polarity of the influences of Eros-hero-aerial demon. This image led Plutarch . Nardi. 1925): 339. Panofsky did not succeed in identifying the model of this curious iconographic type. joined with the ancient Hippocratic belief that saw in the heroes a cause of mental illness. 1975). those in the Pantrchne fmm Gordonio with that of Arnaldo Praxis mcdicinalis. Bruno.rWEEN NARCISSUS AND PYGMALION BETWEEN NARCISSUS AND PYGMALION 0 121 demons in the air. who was also a cause. "The credit (0 2. Agambeu. blending itself with an ancient medical theory (of which there are already traces in Plutarch and Apuleiusj" that conceived of love as a disease. is probably the source. Only if it is understood that the theory of love is a bold polarization of "heroic-demonic" love and of love as a disease will it be possible to measure the revolutionary and novel character of a conception of love that despite changes during tbe passing of seven centuries. within the orbit of Neoplatonic theurgy. of the phantasm) without ending up like Narcissus (who succumbs to his own love for an ymage) or like Pygmalion (who loved a lifeless image)? How. standing on a galloping horse. concept 1964). with claws and with a bow. Narcissus and Pygmalion appear as the two extreme emblems between which is situated a spiritual experience whose crucial problem can be formulated in the following questions: How can one recover from amor hereos without transgressing beyond the phantasmatic circle? How can one appropriate the unappropriable object of love (that is. A. The description (Arualdi Villanovani. it also contains the ultimate possibility of salvation. If. who cites the De antore hrroyco of in Saggi e note di critica and betrays of our On the the origin of the expression in his study on "L'amore e i medici mcdiocvali. Just as the humoral theory of melancholy was linked to the sinister influence of the noonday demon (the reincarnation of Empusa. in G." the love of the poets was instead rigorously and obsessively maintained within the phantasmatic circle. that is. Platonizing Christian mysticism. that is. in the same cultural tradition in which the' 'lowly" image of Eros had been forming.

" If this hypothesi. intuition. Cmtytus. [made] god. Master of St.. or a horse more tc~rlend('nt animae. chap. (New jealousy . for which ing on the ground.1ntn<::matic disease" sec Hirrocratis.. and C011llnClltWY (London/New Themes in "'()nolo!. 5. 24. Liber de dco Socratis (Amsterdam. you will see a fire similnr to a bny who rll<hrs by and leaps on the waves of the air. With profound Hive power) potcntiarun: (corruption of the irnnginarivc rem I'llh!i('{nn. On the heroes as cnusing mental more deeply expelled. 179.".Wngiefi'om in (he circle of Marsilio (London: Warburg Ficin» 10 Cmnrrmd/a Ficino. onus."n. hereos.t would Sllggest a possible conncctiou between the theory of love and the idolopoieric was brought into proximity to Nilrcbus cxarnptc.e. would reveal" all of its On the petlistence of such "Idolatric" . 3 (Cambridge: Universily Press. and so they Ihcllfgy (which the cited passage on the hallucinatory texts to the "image" 1:1 I Q. this was precisely this is a god to him. In a fragment of the lost treatise 0" Love (Srobaens . Arna!do locates the same source. that by means of the <ttong spirit with long heMed vapors it should be a deep c.:o.es medieval culture. Greeks (New York: Harcourt.m~li{' with idolatry is testified.bnt fnlgmenr 146: "The invoI cation said. Betten son (Penguin. founded in Gnostic evocation or mental images The numerous and to the mnong II". Des Places (Paris. 1516). Panofsky. 6. {the appetitive and dc. . however.'liw~de nnivcrsitatr. 1662). than the light: or ::lgtlln a hurning boy who rides on the swift back of a horse. or all "'''''H. chap. Praxis mcdicinati«. by H . English Lacrtius. Apulci Mndaurrusis l'intonki. cum ymaginatur forma que appetitur aut rcspu1tur) imperat alii virtnti moventi ut movent.68): "Which are. "the York: Brill. . S. NARCISSUS AND PYGMALION [J 123 lation of the Liber regins of the Persian physician 'Ali ibn 'Ahbus al-Magiusi (known to the Latins as Haly Abbas). in aedibus Aldi. cogitant rum . (Venetiis. 111. On the cult of the heroes.lti(ln~ with the spelling errios .iutem sunr that we have seen. . Arnaldo continued. vol. (or better. Inrnblichus . p. ages.<.Y allude to practices my~tkal. and Ruth Majcrcik. 21. COpiDSUS aer auractus.401.51. quam non vidit oculus. 1958).ortality irn BrdsgilH. by E. 'covered in gold or else nakPd.rrnmces of the poets of lovers as idol3ters in the Louvre. hy the reprcsentarlons in coitu: appctitus ex cogitationc f'piri1-lI~ et lmmor'n {There are three things in co" spirit. hut fashioned for itself by the mind).:. more gcncrirally. in :!"dibu.m.llica! practice. in his De coitu: "Tria . forti spiritu cum vaporibns diu pratJocnt1s inle-rills expellatnr.iring other movable itus: "ppetite POW('. for the. Thr: Greeks I1l1dthe Irrational (Berkeley/Los Angeles. Latin translation by Marsilio Ficino. recently rccentcm et alia huiusrnodi et ita ipsi sunt templa " (WhM each desires and venerates. "Quod enim quisque but rather that of mental im(here he calls all idol an in Ihe same chapter: in Parm/agi(l cum ad comprchcnsum."s. Rohde is still useful. 19!.. at whose sides did not in the 1602: "Idolum in Psalnnnn . 8. 12. of Villano Vii commands the that it move). Diogcncs 19.. idololatry) lannn. Plutarch wrote: "According to some love is a diseas». prOC-t:':S8_. m:1dn-e~:. . l3~ Hieroclis C(J1J1mrntariu/n in . They. 398ce.O!l of sighs is also horn from them). See Peter Lombard. Oracles chnldaiqucs. 22. sake of the ernbracc . see D.fS character that love! insofar H~ _it is a phnnta:.}. the information provided Brace. . 20. Imof E. 1890-94. 91 and 216. enim hie 'ppell:ll III cpiwo/ml1 I ad Corinthios. explan. Arnaldo of Villanova. 16. Martin horn from l'h"nlastk shows some cdcbmtcd I"te Middle lovers ill the act of adoring a winged and naked fern'll<" figure. 1972). I. and the second is from an Arabic treatise composed in the second half of the tenth century.. and Pygmalion Ncoplaronic theurgyand would place in a new light the "idolurric" to the frequent re. situated on such 3 basis. that in the Ch(]'d~'m1 critical text and Julinnn«. book I. edited hy P.1/(l'cun1 carmen []I 2.. Psyche: The CIIII ojSou!« themselves phanrasm« of idols). fingunt also Crnmncntarius hoc illi deus est. que. 14. Illi autem situulacroof a from of 7. were valid. P. from the former manner they fashion [it] ill the heart.XXIX. 1964): "vis appetitiva et desiderativa.122 [J BETWEEN NARCISSUS AND PYGMALION BEfWEEN York: Harper and Row.772: deurn. 1951). al1lfG dncmonc. (see. in the De phi/o:l(Jphio mnmli. IV 20. in the "nuptial chamber" pr.. fr"gmcnt' Translation.67).r:. in corde. English trnnslation from Symposillm in Pinto in 7ll'clrc Vnilll11cs. friendship.: Htnnonisti- in the Art of the Rcnoissan:« .72. in ibid. In Plntrmicnm Alcibindcm Ficino). dill cordis rccrc:lfione. de anima 1925)]. That Jove in in addition power. spoke of an "Arnot teterrirnus" (most loathsome love) as an "aegritudo corpo~ ralis" (bodily sickness). Oracles=Text. IS. form from which a voice breaks. . ll . Plutarch (in Stobaeus .. the teeth and the talons of love? Suspicion> of the term. 360. Michaud (Paris. copi(m<:.flff Is aftr.!ation by Marsilio type. "Similiter. oriinr in e-i.. and the observations Dodds. As to the Ncoplatonic references Proclus refers a my.. sec Psyche and th« Belief in. Aldi. 18. power). De amore qui heroycus nonnnnnn. 2) in Arnaldi Villanovnni.'e Orac!es dwldoi'lllcs. 186b. The p()['tk theory of love. IV 20. when it irn~gine. or Idtn a boll' ill his hand OI. Harvard 97. conceive 9.. translation VIll 32. 1972). Walker. and humor). union with the "image" practice of analogous soreriologicn: implications..lnt:lstiea contcmplatior. Tfmn('us rfntrmis . Vcnctiis 1516 (Latin t. 1971). Se0 Jean de la Rochelle.po!-!se. marie the desire [vis appctitiva.~ Apuleiu». which. Studies The ChaMra" by E. Kroll. designate the adoration of material images. 17. III-Plntonis verily a fire without 119. other physiciam speak of a rorrnpti» virtutis imnginntivor 6. in the absence of the Ihing desired one is saddened~ and as. De morbo sacra. l. H.. and differently are the temples to). image not seen by the eye.-rh. acconHng to others a desire. It is worth noting) among the possible Omclc: the aerinl demon "Pre"rS translation ThCllrgist: 1989) 23.336.:. et in absentia rei dcsideratac tristatur ct stand two lowrs with talons). Les mysteres. Thus also Arnaldo ph.6 and passirn: Proclus. E.ctedfor the refreshment of the heart.dem :lhil suspiriorum emissio" (Similarly. English tnodation. sed anirnum sibi fingit" cupit et veuerutur. 1979).UH18bl. SYIlIfnsilll)/. 191. R. 7l'(I{'/nilil' de division« appetmlii/ipli"'.• . or light that will wind itself shriek- rnedieva! psychophysiology de-pend on the irnagill"tion. i. a fonn that it desires or rejects. [f'rcihorg ". De dllrllto!Jil. Psellus. It is worth pointing our that idolatry I\gCg properly specien. Sph'ituo! and Demonic lnstitute . in figure 23 the birth salver attributed to the.d his [eet on the horse's back.

In Boethius's Latin translation the passage reads as follows: "sunt ea. suspended in the no-man's-land between sensation and intellection. so that. when Love inspires me. quae sunt in voce. that is. in Dante's Stilnovist vocabulary. e a quel modo ch'e' ditta dentro vo significando». attempting to demonstrate that by "passions in the soul" Aristotle in- . "J This tercet of the Purgatorio (XXIV 52-54) has been so often cited and commented on that any attempt to make it speak in a new way may rightly appear foolhardy. according to the definition of the De anima. the verses shed their metaphoric character and no longer appear merely as a scarcely credible anticipation of the Romantic theory of immediate expression or of the modern poetics of the objectification of feelings. . as is well known. quando Amor mi spira. " We read in the De anima: "Not every sound produced by the animal is voice (a sound can be produced with the tongue. notae" (those things that are in the voice are the signs of the passions in the soul). it will not surprise us that disputes regarding the precise meaning of the words "passions in the soul" were quick to flare up. be the foundation of a theory of poetic language? The answer to this question presupposes the reconstruction of a chapter of medieval semiology that is an integral part of the theory of the "phantastic spirit" and that constitutes perhaps the most original contribution brought by the poets of the stil nuovo to that theory. "significant sound. How can the (injspiration of love. Nevertheless. In the context of pneumatic psycho+ physiology. but if we keep in mind the ambiguous status of the phantasy in Aristotle's thought. Before its formulation by the thinkers of the Stoa. a discovery of modern semiology. earum quae sunt in anima passionum. The Aristotelian definition of language is reiterated in a passage of the De interpretatione that has exercised so decisive an influence on medieval thought that it may be said that all of medieval semiology developed as a commentary upon it. [And I to him: "1 am one who. Yet if it is placed against the background of what we have attempted to bring to light in the preceding chapters. to the images of the phantasy. The definition of language as a sign is not. it was already implicit in the Aristotelian definition of the human voice as semantikos psophos. The expression "passions in the soul" won ld seem to refer. where . writing that "some hold that the words signify the sensations. noto. but it is necessary that whoever makes the air vibrate should be animate and have phantasms.'I the signified). but rather as a rigorous development ofthe pneumarological doctrine in a concept of the poetic sign that is in fact the keystone of the entire pneumophantastic edifice." This expression should Instead be restored to the context of a pneumatological culture in which the metaphorical sense was not yet divided from the proper one.THE "JOY THAT NEVER ENDS" 0 125 Chapter 16 The IIJoy That Never Ends" E io a lui: «1' mi son un che.I' is the signifier and . with the presence of a mental image or phantasm. just as the word "spirit" (spirito). In his commentary on the De interpretation» Boethius discussed these disputes. the voice is in fact a significant sound and not only air that is breathed. should always be understood in reference to a culture that immediately perceived in the term the entire gamut of pneumatic (or rather. "to breathe. Of even coughing). The "semantic" character of human language is thus explained by Aristotle in terms of the psychological theory that we know. Dante undoubtedly links the (injspiration of love to a theory of the linguistic sign: indeed he defines his own making of poetry as the notation and signification of the dictation of inspiring love. in the passage at hand. it would be sufficiently clear from the preceding chapters that we can understand Dante's lise of the Italian verb spirare here by its more common L24 meaning. . where s is sound and P the phantasm. and in the manner that he dictates within I go signifying. he polemicized at length with the defenders of this interpretation." Love "breathes" (spira) because it is essentially and properly a "spiritual motion" (to use Dante's own expression)." Following an intellectualistic tradition that would later characterize the scholastic theory of language. takes note. others. the phantasms. pneumo-phantasmatic) resonances. " (4206). The exegesis of this passage has generally been dominated by the semantic suggestion implicit in the interpretation of the expression ':4mor mi spira" according to the vague metaphorical meaning of the verb ispirare (to inspire) in modern usage as "to infuse or instill. it would be configured as follows: PIs. if we wish to transcribe into Aristotelian terms the algorithm now usually used to represent the notion of sign (Sis. the pneumo-phantasmatic character of the process of love.

by situating himself outside of scholastic semiology. In another sense we call passion a motion of the soul by which it is moved through the body and manifests its motion with the movements of the spirit and the blood. but only the qualities of the intelligibles. which. In this way words are the notations of the passions that arc in the soul. the origin and the object of the erotic desire. in the words of William of St." was redirected by the love poets. since the intellect undergoes and receives from the external thing in such a way. And. Thus what is in the word. Therefore that which thenowion of the passion on the lips of the speaker. in the works of Cavalcanti. at once. corporeal and incorporeal. but perfect: therefore Aristotle rightly affirms that everything concerning nouns and verbs is not the sign of sensations or imaginations. and so on=-from the orbit of the theory of language. the voice appeared from the outset as a pneumatic current originating in the heart. since the soul is passive and receptive with respect to the mind and the intellect. excited the motion of the tongue. nppearance and essence. however. expresses the notation of the passion which is in the soul. 5 We can thus easily understand why. but. informed of this species. when thus informed. for whom the voice. "God has surrounded with mystery. So the same word becomes the sign and the similitude of the thing in he who hears it. institutes the word. .126 D FE "JOYTI-lAT NEVER ENDS" THE "JOY THAT NEVER ENDS" 0 127 tended neither tbe' sensations nor the phantasms.. and the signifying word instituted by the intellect. passing through the larynx.I This interpretation of the Aristotelian theory of language in scholastic semiology is perfectly exemplified in the De tnterpretatione of Albertus Magnus. is a notation of the passions received in the soul from things. Albert in fact distinguished two senses of the term "passion": . is explicitly said to proceed from the heart. one that is at the same time a physiology. and to make speakable and understandable "the union of these two substances" that. constituted by the intellect to signify. 2 the heart: but it is not in this sense that we are here speaking of passion. insofar as its production is The intellectualistic stamp that had Jed Boethius to exclude the phantasm from the sphere of the signified. whether it be sensible or intelligible. But a more attentive examination reveals a radical divergence from the scholastic definition. defined.." If we keep in mind the pneumatic nature of the phantasm (the' 'phantastic spirit") that is. in its turn. This explains why the link of the (injspiration of love with poetic language is affirmed not only In Dante. Thierry. the thing in fact generates its species in the soul. joy. the words are brought into being by the intellect: the intellect does not constitute the articu lated word except to signify the species of the thing and the passion that it conceives within itself from the thing . identified the passio animae (passion of the soul) with the species intclligibilis (intelligible species) and affirmed the intellectual origin of linguistic signs. but the intellections: "Nouns and verbs do not s4gnify something imperfect. could say of love that "rial suo spirito precede I che parl a in me. Because of this the passion of the soul is a species of the thing. They situated poetic language. the passious of joy. for a theoryof the linguistic sign. in other words. but should be a commonplace among the love poets. mercy." The pneumatic doctrine that posited the spirit as quid medium between soul and body and thus attempted to t111in the metaphysical fracture between visible and invisible. and the intellect. the passion of concupiscence. reinserted the theory of language into that pneumophanrastic doctrine that we have seen play such an essential part in the love lyric. of the "passions of the mind" in the sense that we give this expression today.~ In one sense we call passion the form that the object impresses on the passive power. he did not express an individual intuition or an art of poetry. as we have seen. sadness. and other things of the kind.. a doctrine of the "beatitude of love" and a theory of the poetic sign. Galen dwelled at length on the physiology of the human voice. The scholastic interpretation.' . moreover. In doing so. cio ch'io dico rimando " (from its spirit proceeds / that speaks in me. desire." Against the background of this theory of thelinguistic sign we should situate what Dante says in the tercet of the Purgatorio that we are examining. And since articulated words cannot be formed if not by that which understands and conceives the external object and receives the passion according to the form of the thing known. the forms and the intentions produced in the soul from things are called passions. to suffer what is moved according to the diastole and systole of . fear. Dante instead characterized poetic expression precisely as the dictation of an inspiring love. is emphasized by Albert to the point of denying the relevance. From this point of view. his words do not appear to contain at first glance any new elements: "1 take note" and "I go signifying" in fact correspond precisely to the scholastic definition of language as notation and sign of a passion of the soul. is the sign and the sirri'iJi-. explicitly excluding the motus spirituum (movements of the spiritj=-wrarh. in that sense in which we say. in a sonnet that seems to take up and refine Dante's program. what I say in rhyme). as a "spiritual motion." the connection of language with the (injspiration of love will once again appear a coherent and complex doctrine. and informs us in minute detail of the dispute dividing those who argued that the vocal pneuma originated in the heart from those who placed its origin instead in the brain.de of the things in the cars of the listener. Here the theory of the sign is articulated according to the gradations of the psychological process by now familiar to us: The external object impresses itself and acts in some way on the soul and inflicts on it a passion. it is the "spirits" who speak. and why Cino. as one says the passion of wrath. In the context of this theory. as the visible object inflicts a passion on the sense and the intelligible object on the possible intellect. In his De Hippocritis et Platonis placitis.

the phantasm impressed in the phanrastic spirits. opens a space in which the poetic sign appears as the sole enclosure offered to the fulfillment oflove and erotic desire in their roles as the foundations and meaning of poetry. understood as thesignificatiou of the (injspiration of love. desire and poetic sign are thus linked and involved through their common participation in a pneumatic circle Within which the poetic sign. Poetry is then which the lteatilUde the phantasm and desire in language poetry can be conceived as joi d'amor properly joi d'amor because it is the of love is celebrated.comes into contact with the rational spirit. in the exemplary wake of Leo Spitzer. the poets freed themselves from the "prlmordial positing of the signified and the signifier as two orders distinguished and separated by a barrier resisting signification. in the mediating position that had belonged to "spirit. word. phantasm. love's stantia (chamber) in this singular mutual implication of Eros and poetic language with his usual clarity when he affirmed." which. in its fidelity to the original metaphysical positing of the word as "signifying sound. it is because this hermeneutic circle contains the most essential truth of the dolce stil nuova-which. This is the circle where phantasm. desire. The . Narcissus in fact succeeds in obtaining his own image and in satisfying hisiol amour in a circle where the phantasm generates desire. in a fundamental passage of the Vita Nueva. that he died") is healed. a trait eternel (eternal signature) of Romance poetry. in the imaginary Jacob's ladder of Hugh of St. with its profound intuition. and poetry in the topos outopos of the poem. appears as the supreme achievement of pneumo-phantasmology. In this way. uniting phantasm. the typically medieval conception of the phantasmatic character of love finds its resolution and fulfillment in poetic practice. and desire. That versuum recitaiio (recitation of verses) and can/us seu instrumentormn suavitas (sweetness of song or instruments) that the physicians advised as remedies for amor hereos thus became the instruments of a superior spiritual "healing. as it arises from the spirit of the heart." v ~ ~word·~ This can also be displayed as a Borromean knot where desire and word are pulled together by the phantasm: desire The inclusion of dition in orderthat joy)." In poetic practice. and the word defines a space wherein the appropriation of what could otherwise not be appropriated or enjoyed is possible. in distinguishing itself from scholastic scmiology. they thus came to confer on it the highest status that could be attributed to it.1280 THE "JOY THAT NEVER ENDS" THE "JOY THAT NEVER ENDS" 0 129 is a pneumatic activity." The pneumatic link. If Dante could say that the fulfillment of love lies in the poetic word and." Dante expressed is the essential con" (joy of love. celebrates its rescue and ennoblement. The trobar is clus because the endless union of desire and its object is celebrated in its closed pneumatic circle."? Eros and poetry." 12 but also the analogous tension in Romance poetry in the direction of the self-sufficiency and absoluteness of the poetic text. where. just as the phantasy does for Hugh. as lost object. and the poem will become the site of an absence yet nonetheless draws from this absence its specific authority. through which love assumes the saturnine mask of melancholic delirium. and the mortal "heroic" disease. through a subtle and funereal strategy. at the same time. this essential textual tension of Romance poetry will displace its center from desire to mourning: Eros will yield to Thanatos its impossible love object so as to recover it. In this way the poetic word was presented as the site where the fracture between desire and its unattainable object (which medieval psychology. however." By conceiving of poetry as the dictation of ins piling love. sensible signifier and rational signification. this nexus could certainly furnish the paradigm capable of explaining not only the trobar clus as a "specifically Romance tendency toward precious form. Vietor. The legacy that the love lyric of the Duecento has imparted to European culture is not." governs every Western conception of the sign." 10 of a love that "sua semper sine fine cognoscit augmenta" (always knows its increase without endj!' and that constitutes the greatest possible approximation in this life to the "sweet play" of innocent love in Eden. can immediately adhere both to the dictation of that' 'spiritual motion' that is love. that the goal and the beatitude of his love are to be found in "those words that praise my lady" (XVIII 6). and word weave themselves together "as tongues enlace in the kiss. poetry' 'informs the corporeal spirit and. had expressed through its identification of Eros with the youth "who so much loved his shadow. conceive of poetry as love's (injsptring dictation. at the extreme limit of the corporeal and incorporeal. If one wished to seek. so much 11 certain conception of love as the nexus of Eros and poetic language. the entrehescamen of desire. situating the space of the poem. and to its object. in a circulation whose utopian topology can be imperfectly exemplified in the following diagram: ~deSire phantasm Joi d'amo. Overthe course of a poetic process whose emblematic temporal extremes are Petrarch and Mallarme. desire is translated into words.

" and at the same time "verse./ P/mon. Guido Cavalcanti. But in the poetry of (in)spiring love-i-whose situation on the highest finial of the pneumo-phantasmological edifice has been the goal of our rescarch=-desirc. from . l. In lihnnn A.·ntrebc. 135). it accords Greek statuary. who emerge \Yecp~ng fmrri the SOlTov. as the Greek statues were agaimo "I rejoice. mini) gremio cordis uitenle spiritn . 46. 4(6).. see also figures 24 and 25. Lf HiI'pocl"lrfis . See . with the preeminence (afterlife) chap.. weak and dejected voice. a part of the canzone or poem derives [mIT! the Arabic terml>ayt.. 5..y") 10.:!oftfis De inrnprrf('[fimu: 2." "gioia in cui viso e gioi" tantamsense: poetry is orosa. topO!ogiCflt weave of 'his fll/rcbnC(l!WIi of love is expressed in exemplary fa<hion in the hieroglyphic of Hornpal10 t1wl 1574. in l3o"(i Alberti Magni. 9Xff. which summarizes in itself the fullness of the erotic-poetic of the troubadours. Paris. 6. a menta~ image . 2." metaphysics of the sigll in Wcqefll thought.. .212) .1300 THE ". n. eidolon.1929. p. W.3) as "nnimcnto spiritua!e de of love that Dante gives in the Cmn'i\·io (spirit!lal joining "spiritnnl" alludes e de la cos" amata" the adjct'live "L'insmncc union. here 10 the pncumo-phantnsmntic in Ecrits (Paris. CLX (Rimator«. Camproux .L1cg_1pfin. and in particular the verse in which the object of desire is expressed. in its Illeaning des troubadours.. Lane.1 the longue is woven I in the kis~). tica stortca (Bari.. (Ill 2. This is the (Poet. )~ (They also say the voice is emitted the 10(1.." See Ori Apo1tinis Niliaci. 66.1'0 Chnlcidius: . 12.'' lcttcraric. uAmor cnim isrc sua semper sine fin~~ coglloscrt augmentn.locus. and Guit- lone d'Arezzo.-sciH. L'. See.of the god (aga/llia derives of The love poetry of the thirteenth of A\ex. On the concept of Kereny. (See the entry for baYl in E.-cing I words and finishing the sound: . supported by a conception that constitutes the sole coherent attempt in Western thought to overcome the metaphysical fracture of presence. The. et ejus exercuisse pocnittrisse C'ogno·virm"!!.llldrin century.:tng heart). 17 ill part 4 of this volume. l . 244: "gioiosa joi d'amor ·ihe genitive exult").. ! ch'csci piililgc!Hk' de 10 cor dolente" (You. Notes 1. and we neverheard that anyone regretted having pnformcd "gloi che mai non fina" its act). "Lajoie is alsa etymologically civilisatrice linked to a linguistic practice and so opposed. that is.. (joy that never ends) of Guido delle Colonnc d. 9. gio. De intcrprctritionc. " According to Arab . 11." "tent. ('al'pella1llIC.<·l'inl"ifis." This remains the always vital and luminous project against which our poetic culture will have to measure itself. in Critica stilistica e semalt- 3. in Agrrlma. eikon.b / es en hl baizada" (Thus I go inter\C\. libri sex (Patrofogia lonna. pp. 4. with that "joy that never ends.. principal verse of a poem composed in praise of a person to whom one wishes to expn:~~s desire. notis.ugduni.. On the experience derives See play."Vocem quoque dicnnt e penctruli pectoris. XXXVI): "Tu.·ould say rhar the of agctmo."".. 497. which means "dwelling place. chap .. 1965). book2.Ta. The cicfinilinn I'nnitn" taken literally. if and when it succeeds in stepping backward and • beyond itself toward its own origin. 165.'. for pel~ haps the last time in the history of Western poetry. Guido Cuvalcantl (RilN({fo. II): "C'nus] vane c-otrebt:'SC-<Hlt 1 los. the heart. The Provencal word joi. the amorous 8 . The usage of the word "stanza" to indicate.:".n'_. De s"r"ri. bayt also refer~ to tbr. authors . del dolce stil novo. once again. 7. 97. Oper« omnia.TOY THAT NEVER ENDS" THE "JOY THAT NEVER ENDS" 0 131 "rose" whose quest governs the poem of Jean de Meung tbus becomes t' absente de tout bouquet (the absent from any and all bouquets) that exalts in the text its disparition vibratoire (vibratory disappearance) so as to mourn a desire imprisoned like a "swan" in the "ice" 'of its own dispossession. and Cino de Pistoia. Amb·English Diclimw. 6. its joyful and inexhaustible "spiritual union" with its own Object of love. see chap. Leo Spitzer. dl!Cccntn." 1966). "bodily in that it presumebly in La table ronde.' "gioi~ di d~re.41). 55r and the artus ncmincm signifies "Love.. Hoepffner. flections is to be taken also in the subjective 1(111 theou. figure opposite tbe frontispiece. Ibid" chap. Parisiis.ib. 39. [froml thc spirit impelling in of the heart) tTimnr». in the sense in which Clement god of the Christian« tsocton. Consider the beautiful image ofBcruar! Marti (ed. appears image and joy. is ::In agalma from this point of view as a N(l("hkbrn iProtrcptirns. XXI and XXV (RimalOri. to be link that mediates de la lettre dans l'inconscicr+. in Poeti del dolce stil nmrJ.(1111 from the depths of the breast. voce sbig01lito e dehok. from Andrea.1.I. II."tcrl'''f"tn~im1{' lil/gllistien ddlr (JJ!'''. Lucan. (in Oprrum). irlest corde. 4) . mot:': e l ~{)afinanr: Ilcngu\. Platonis." In the expression "jove's joy" from agol/omni. of the soul and the thing loved) is. see there- to the image of the heart. celebrates. De amore. 99). for nampie.(Thislove always knows its increase without end." of "word-play" to Ludus. January 1956. treatise 2.

' Dante. . Inferno XXY.Part IV The Perverse Image: Semiology framthe Point of View of the Sphinx The perverse image seemed both and neither.77-78 .

Chapter 17

Oedipus and the Sphinx

1.1. The essence of the emblematic tradition is so extraneous to the ideology prevalent today that, despite the exemplary defense of Benjamin, I its rigorous exposition is again necessary. The studies that, following the fruitful path of Aby Warburg, have on more than one occasion focused on the emblematic project, have not only failed to make. it more. familiar, but, jf possible, have made it more foreign to us.? In this case, what was hiding in the detail was not, in fact, the "good God" but the vertiginous space of that which, before the veil was removed that distorted its contours, necessarily appeared as a Satanic fall of intelligence and as a demonic distortion of the nexus that unites every creature to its own form, every signifier to its own signified. In his Aesthetics, Hegel interpreted the "uneasiness":' our culture experiences with regard to symbols: "in themselves alone these productions say nothing to us; they do not please us or satisfy us by their immediate appearance, but by themselves they encourage us to advance beyond them to their meaning which is something wider and deeper than they are" [G. W. F Hegel, Aesthetics, trans. 1'. M, Knox (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1975), 1:308]. After definingthe symbol as a sign, that is, as the unity of a signified and its expression, Hegel then identified its specific character in the persistence of a "partial discord" and a "struggle" within the sign between form and slgnification." The same "uneasiness" that the symbolic form brings scandalously to light has accompaniedWestern reflection on signification since the beginning, and its metaphysical residue has been absorbed, without henefit of inventory, by modern semiology. Insofar as the duality of thing manifesting and thing manifested is implicit in the sign, it remains something double and fragmented, but insofar as
135

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0

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this duality is manifested in the one sign, it is rather something rejoined and united. The symbolic, the act of recognition that reunites what is divided, is also the diabolic that continually transgresses and exposes the truth of this knowledge. . The foundation of this ambiguity of signifying resides in that original fracture of presence that is inseparable from the Western experience of being. Because of that fracture, all that comes to presence comes there as to the place of a deferral and an exclusion, in the sense that its manifestation is simultaneously a concealment, and its being present, a lack. This originary co-belonging tcoappartenenza) of presence and absence, of appearance and concealment was expressed by the Greeks in their intuition of truth as 'aletheia (revelation), and on the ex .. perience of this fracture the discourse that we still call with the Greek name "love of wisdom" is founded. Only because presence is divided and unglued is something like "signifying" possible; and only because there is at the origin not plenitudc but deferral [whether this is taken to mean the opposition of being and appearance, the harmony of opposites, or the ontological difference between being (Sein) and an entity (Sciende) is there the need to philosophize. Early on, however, this fracture was dismissed and eclipsed through its metaphysical interpretation as the relation of truer being to less true, of paradigm to copy, of latent to sensible manifestation. In the reflection on language, which has always been par excellence the plane on which the experience of the original fracture is projected, this interpretation is crystallized in the notion of the sign as the expressive unity of the signifier and the signified. In this way the fracture of presence takes on the aspect of a process of "signification, " and signification is interpreted on the basisof the unity of the signifying form and the signified content. joined one to the other in a relation of "manifestation" (or eclipse). This interpretation, whose possibility is only implicit in the Aristotelian definition of language as semantikos psophos (signifying sound), acquires normative value in the course of the nineteenth century in the constitution of a dogma that today still prevents access to an authentic understanding of signification. According to this conception, which has found in aesthetics its exemplary crystallization, the highest relation between form and the signified, and that to which every signification generally tends, is that in which the sensible appearance is wholly identified with the signified and the signified is wholly absorbed in its manifestation. To this perfect unity, in which the signified is still in part hidden, the symbolic is opposed as something imperfect that must be superseded. Hegel, in his Aesthetics, identified the work of art as the model for such a superseding of the symbol: The symbolic, that is to say, in om meaning of the word, at once stops short of the point where. instead of indefinite, general, abstract ideas, it is free individuality which constitutc« the content and form of the representation .... Meaning and sensuous representation, inner and outer, matter and form, arc in that event no longer distinct from one

another; they do not announce themselves, as they do in the strictly symbolic sphere, as merely related but as one ";"hole in which the appearance has no other essence, the essence no other appearance, outside or alongside itself. (Aesthetics 1:313) The original deferral of presence, which is properly what deserved to be questioned, is thus dismissed and confined in the apparent evidence of the expressive convergence between form and content, exterior and interior, mnnffestnuon and latency, although nothing in principle requires the consideration of "signifying" as an "expression" or an "eclipse." In modern semiology, the forgetting of the original fracture of presence is manifested precisely in what ought to betray it, that is, in the bar (/) of the graphic SIs. That the meaning of this bar or barrier is constantly left in shadow, thus hiding the abyss opened between signifier and signified, constitutes the foundation of that' 'primordial positing of the signified and the signifier as two orders distinguished and separated by a barrier resisting signification," a position that has governed Western reflection on the sign from the outset, like a hidden overlord. Prom the point of view of signification, metaphysics is nothing but the forgetting of the originary difference between signifier and signified. Every semiology that fails to ask why the barrier that establishes the possibility of signifying should itself be resistant to signification, falsifies, with that omission, its own most authentic intention . In Saussure's formula, "linguistic unity is double," the accent has been placed /lOW on the pole of the signifier, now on that of the signified, without ever putting into question the paradox, insuperable for Saussure, that had testified on behalf of his own formulation. Whether the relation indicated by the barrier is in fact conceived as a conventional substitution or as the amorous aesthetic embrace of form and signified, in either case what remains obscured is precisely the abyss of the original division of presence over which signification installs itself. The question that remains unasked is the only one that deserved to be formulated: why is presence deferred and fragmented such that something like "signification" even becomes possible? 1.2. The origin of this dissimulation ..·-effected by the expressive unity of signlfier and signified=-of the fracture of presence was prefigured by the Greeks in a mythologeme that has always held a particular fascination for our culture. In the psychoanalytical interpretation of the myth of Oedipus, the episode of the Sphinx, although necessarily of essential importance for the Greeks, remains obstinately in the shadows; but it is precisely this aspect of the life of the hero that must here be put in the foreground. The son of Laius resolves in the simplest way "the enigma proposed by the ferocious jaws of the virgin," showing the hidden meaning behind the enigmatic signifier, and, with this act alone, plunges the half-human, half feral monster into the abyss. The liberating teaching of Oedipus is that what is uncanny and frightening in the enigma disappears as soon as its

138 0 OEDIPUS

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utterance is reduced to the transparency of the relation between the signified and its form, which-the signified only apparently succeeds in escaping. Nevertheless, what we can discern in the archaic enigmas shows not only that the signified must not have preexisted its formulation (as Hegel believed), but that the knowledge of that formulation was in fact unessential. The supposition of a solution "hidden" in the enigma belongs to a subsequent age that no longer understood what the enigma brought to language, that no longer had any knowledge of enigmas except in the degraded forms of the riddle and the guessing game. Not only was the enigma thought to be much more than mere amusement, but experience of it always meant the risk of death." What the Sphinx proposed was not simply something whose signified is hidden and veiled under an "enigmatic" signifier, but a mode of speech in which the original fracture of presence was alluded to in the paradox of a word that approaches its object while keeping it indefinitely at a distance. The ainos (story, fable) of the ainigma is not only obscurity, but a more original mode of speaking. Like the labyrinth, like the Gorgon, and like the Sphinx that utters it, the enigma belongs to thesphere of the apotropaic, that is, to a protective power that repels the uncanny by attracting it and assuming it within itself. The dancing path of the labyrinth, which leads into the heart of that which is held at a distance, is the model of this relation with the uncanny that is expressed in the enigma." If the above is true, the sin of Oedipus is not so much incest as it is hubris toward the power of the symbolic in general (the Sphinx is thus truly, according to Hegel's suggestion, "the symbol of the symbolic"), which he has misperceivcd by interpreting its apotropaic intention as the relation of an oblique signifier and a hidden signified. Oedipus's gesture inaugurates a breach in language whose metaphysical legacy is extensive: on the one hand, the symbolic discourse of the Sphinx, whose essence is coding and concealment, and which employs "improper" terms; on the other hand, the transparent discourse of Oedipus, employing proper terms, which is expression or decoding. Oedipus thus appears in our culture as "civilizing hero" who, with his answer, provides the enduring model for the interpretation of the symbolic. (This model is related to the "signifying" of alphabetic writing, whose invention the Greek tradition attributed to the ancestor of Oedipus, Cadmus, whose descendants maintained a relation with writing and signification that has not yet been studied. The son of Cadmus, Polydorus, is also called Pinacos, "the man of the written tablets," and Labdacus, father of La ius, derives his name from the letter lambda, All of this testifies to the importance of this aspect of the mythologeme, which Freudian interpretation has left in the dark.) Every interpretation of signifying as the relation of manifestation or expression (or, inversely, of coding am! eclipse) between 11 signifier and a signified (and both the psychoanalytic theory of the symbol and the semiotic theory of language belong to this type) places itself necessarily under the sign of Oedipus; under the sign of the Sphinx must be placed every theory of the symbol that, refusing the model of Oedipus, focuses its attention above all on the barrier

between signifier and signified that constitutes the original problem of signification. Next to this Oedipal dismissal of the original fracture of presence, another interpretation docs in fact remain in reserve, so to speak, in the tradition of Western thought. This altemative appears at an early date in the light of the Heraclitean project of an utterance that neither' 'hides" nor' 'reveals" but rather "signifies" the unsignifiable conjunction (synapsis) between presence and absence, between the signifier and the signified. Heraclitus frequently-and the practice earned him his reputation for obscurity =-referred to such utterance by establishing prox unities between contraries and by creating oxyrnorons in which opposites do not exclude each other, but point toward their invisible contact points." From this point of view it is significant that Aristotle, in order to characterize the enigma, employed an expression that undoubtedly retraces what Heraclitus said about putting together opposites. In the Poetics (58a), Aristotle defined the enigma as a ta adynaia synapsai, "a putting together of impossible things." For Heraclitus, every signifying is, in that sense, a ta adynata synapsai, and every authentic signifying is always "enigmatic." The divine semainein, to which fragment 93 alludes, cannot in fact be interpreted in the sense that metaphysics has rendered familiar, as a relation of manifestation (or eclipse) between signifier and signified, exterior and interior, but, on the contrary, its intention is characterized precisely in opposition to the legein (saying) and to the kryptcin (hiding), as a glimpse into the abyss opened between signifier and signified, all the way to the "god" that appears between them. 8 This glimpse is what a semiology freed from the mark of Oedipus and faithful to the Saussurian paradox would finally bring to the "barrier resistant to signification." This barrier, without itself ever coming into language, dominates Western reflection on the sign, aud its dismissal is the foundation for the prirnordial position of the signifier and the signified that belongs in an essential way to metaphysics. By permitting itself to be captured in the labyrinth, drawn in by the ainos of the ernhlernatic form, this chapter has attempted to point toward the originary apotropaic stage of language in the heart of the fracture of presence, in which a culture that had paid its debt to the Sphinx could find a new model of signification.

Notes
1. The defense
(1928) (Frankfurt alluded to here is that contained in the Urspriins; drs dcntsrhcn intentions. Traucrspicl. works, this am Main: Surknmp, the laceration 1963)< This is surely (he !.east popul"r his most profound surh
fill 10

of Benjamin',

out it is perh~p5 the only one in which he fulfilled work reproduces Benjamin oversees signil1cs of the. emblem himself s<lld of .1!legory: "A!kgory as a permancn: something profundity, different

In its structure,

extent thai one can say of emblr-m what Evil tout court, which allegory allcgory-e is only and exclusively

opens lnto B0thlngness

cxisrs only within allegory, ...

it
of

from what it is. In other words,

it signifies precisely

the nonbcing

what it represents .. , Knowledge about evil has 110 object that Kinkeg<1:ud .iutended thi~ word.'~

It is gossip in the profound

sense

" l.Tn th1i~ respect the \:!.si:.:. transferred. . According Greek tradition. then. sive symbolicam locutionem" ["In matters dealing with God there are two different ways of speaking: (I) In proper language .ted in impreeas .. are found sketched in the apocryphal corpus that goes under the name of Dionysus the Areopagite.. were an i!1'lp~'e~nthJI transmitted cneram cl. of the 11hr/7/o'g (lnd COlAr.o:::on. tlglll'<'e dnns les tr3ites italiens sur les unprese.strue nrr rmd the form which is not homogeneous with the content either.s interest in symbol« naturally led him to. The .<\lal [mage in Neopht(mk and R.houmbries \'i-'h~chhave been indicated. our fooling is not really secure." one reads in the De veri/ate of Saint Thomas Aquinas. In other words.arucd with vital tension. 1950).l" ):317. 4.t.'. . negations are truer and more congruous than affirmations=. On the closeness (If the dance and the labyrinth.~rSlh("lir·\' '1". in which the improper is pushed to the margins. soy. we feel that we :11'0 w:mrkrillg ~mongst problcms" (. ity. for our culture.. stages and the different and modes levels of this struggle are not S(I much different [of incompatibility kinds of symbolic between meaning art as and to of one and the san:c the enigma contl"~dicti()n shape]" (AN'htlic. in an anagogical Ieap of love.L The originary doubleness of the metaphysical conception of signifying manifests itself in European culture as the opposition of the proper and the improper. J9 (1957). in so far (lS symholic art just ~trugglcs towards true mccm~ngs and their corresponding mode of ("ooflguratinn." from 8. 19:}9)1 see."c!e. beC0n1C inrere::.'holcof symholic art.1'\'(111("(". "The Lord. 'unus secundum propriam locurionern. th60rie de l'expression divi~i011 forsymbolic art. "Icones Symholicne "mid lnstitntr 11 (J948). from the shadowy corporeal world to the con14[ . vol. to the collective memory an The Proper and the Irnproper Chapter 18 in Srvcntrcntt: among others. 6. see Kerenyi.) nor concca!s (Iu')"plci). and (2) In figurative. Hcr:lClitu' (Syllill' cordant. "Thus when we first enter the world of [syn-bolisr-i].rrf~'{l'g Institute. The Vi.Smr et 801171.' of mcnning and < shape. con~onant··dio.-m~-. death by despair. without either of the two discourses succeeding in entirely reducing its own double.. \Vcu"t. Studies Studies {~f fhr H{. but signifies (sem(/inci)c" Il.' The impossibil . Bomer and C"lcha~ died this way.n!lbili1y to resolve had as its consequence.11rescoreh on the Iahyrinth oughl pmpedy (fmgmml' 10): "Thing' pllt together In begin with the dance.. sive tropicam. "If we ask . Klein. E. of mastering this antinomy is witnessed by the constant alternation of epochs of the improper.18). or symbolic language"}.. 3 (London.a representation that proceeds by discrepancies and shifts would be more adequate to its object than a representation that proceeds by anaJogies and resemblances. precisely its inadequacy with respect to its mystical object confers on the incongruous symbol what might paradoxically be defined as a "congruence by discrepancy" that permits the mind to raise itself. . is at Delphi. concordantdis- 7. The foundations of a theory of the improper. Ch~rnhrkh. 5. and epochs of the proper. for a narrm:'i.> in addition to the study of Mario Praz ." 'cis)' whole-not whole. (leg..urg'. it is in general ::1 battle between the C'011t('~l1t which sti]] " Ionrnai re. \vHhin thr:sf.77: """. "On ernhl.". emblems or devices accompanied by mottoes.?ihlinthCfjW d'HIII11(m. H. Labvrinth-Stndicn (Zurich. . alius modus est secundum figurativam. which furnished the theological justification for the Renaissance and baroque obsession with emblems no less than for the exalted allegoresis of medieval mysticism. may be undf'F-stnod as a continuing s!. Thought.. Century Imagery. vol. nil things the one and from the one aU things.308).140 o OEDIPUS AND THE SPHINX 2. in which the symbolic-emblematic occupies the central place in culture.' according to which-since in reference to the divine. "Duplex est modus Ioquendi. This justification is formulated as II kind of' 'principle of incongruence.nlggk for cornpntibilitj. 3. neithe.Tt principle or "L. His peculiar approac n to images can indeed be characterized by saying that he looked at every image as if it. whose O.

this mortification of the proper form is a token of redemption that will be rescued on the Last Day.of the emblematic code-agilinst describing the human body except partially: "corpus humanum. became the vehicle of a superior knowledge: one in which the metaphysical difference between corporeal and incorporeal. so that the knowledge of God-· which.hut. in the period in which the modern scientific image of the world was being formed.. . each word to its own signified is radically called into question. The inexplicable delay attending the appearance of caricature in European culture is not to he sought. hand-can be tolerated). this unlikeness a superior likeness. Between the first half of the sixteenth and the second half of the seventeenth centuries.. a part of the body-eye. The foot of the prohibition that prevented the displacement of the human figure from its proper signification (except by recourse to a fetishistic device widely used by the emblernatists) was the biblical "in his image and likeness. of every signifier from its own Signified. the link that joins each object to its own appe~rllnce. the intellect is blinded. " Metaphor. matter and form. are separated from God by an infinite gap . both tended toward the maximum divergence and." The emblem is in fact the central figure to which this period entrnsted its most profound cognitive project and. Only in an epoch like that of the emblems. as in the acufezza (sharp wit. both the emblem and the impresa fall under this framework). that the emblematists referred constantly to the emblem as a compound of soul (the motto) and body (the image):' and to their union as "mystical mixture" and "ideal mall. as Gombrich and Kris have suggested.and each tbing is itself only if it stands for another." we read in the rules of Petrus Abbas. It does not 8ppear fortuitous. where ingenious nature traces out What she meditates. This "region of unlikeness" is the regnum peccati (kingdom of sin) "in which the memory is scattered. also. witty fabulist) as we read in the Cannocchtnt» aristotelico (Aristotelian telescope) of Tesa~ro. which estranges each signifier from its own signified. pars corporis.D. the displacement of the human figure necessarily implied a blasphemous project. is the moment when em" blematic displacement reaches the human figure. Victor defined the mystic power of the incongruous with almost the same words used by the Areopagite: Dissimilar figures distract our mind from material and corporeal things more than do similar ones. oculus. Each thing is true only to the extent to which it signifies another. though perfect." Ten centuries later. European culture was dominated to such an extent by the topic of the incongruous that th is period could he defined." but in the fact that. as "the epoch of the emblem." The sky "is a vast sky-blue shield.142 D THE PROPER AND THE IMPROPER THE PHOPER AND THE IMPROPER D 143 templation of the intelligible. came together. affirming what He is not. the Hyeroglyphica of Horapollo . forming heroic emblems and subtle. in a supposed belief in the magical efficacy of tbe image. so. with the disappearance of baroque allegoresis. mysterious symbols of her secrets. The reason for this is that all created things. God appears thus as the first and supreme emhlernatisi . this displacement is also a token of redemption. could a caricature appear morc similar to the person than the person itself. from this point of view. bu. at the same time. what the emblem is in the sphere of objects. "integrum pictura esse non potest. in the words of Herder. In emblems. It is therefore not surprising tbat. an "arguro favellators" (subtle. as the paradigm of signifying by improper terms (and according to baroque theorists. caricatured figure) is to be linked to the prohibition-an integral part. which explains the monstrous and caricatural aspect with which the devil is outfitted in Christian iconography. each creature to its own body. ingenuity) that is employed to the end of all signification. the humanists founded the project of a model of signification in which not the convergence and unity of appearance and essence. which was born precisely in this era. the emblematic form. that is. The studies of Gichlow have shown the decisive influence exercised over the formation of sixteenth-century emhlematics by a pseudoepigraphical corpus. transmits what He is not-s-is more perfect than that which. outside of the emblematic cosmos. directly linking the human f01'01to its divine creator. since this figure already bore inscribed its allegorical cipher. caricature separated the human figure from its signifiecl. and contained what claimed to be an interpretation of the Egyptian hieroglyphs. the will is troubled. with apparent frivolity. in the human sphere. created in the image and likeness of God. "per malitiam diaholi depravatus venit in longuinquam regionem dissimilirudints" (depraved by the maliee of the devil came into a distant region of unlikeness). The displacement of the human fignre from this theological "signified" must therefore have appeared as the demoniac act par excellence. but their incongruence and displaccment . As the emblem had called into question the nexus of thingswith their proper forms. heart. in the blazons (heraldic arms) that now mask with their picta pocsis (painted poetry) all the aspects of profane life. in the "amorous and heroic" imprese. "wittily expressing to men and angels his lofty concepts with various heroic emblems and symbolic figurations. On the fecund misunderstanding of an explanation of tbe "sacred signs" of the Egyptian priests. denying in this manner all His perfections. still not confronted by schOlars. cor..t whose cipher is already implicit in the act of creation. signifier and signified'. becomes thus the principle of a universal dissociation of each thing from its own form. according to the implicit wisdom of the emblematic project. that the origin of the' 'figura caricata' (charged. its most intimate malaise. irrevocably guaranteed its identity. For the allegorical project of the baroque. Hugh of St. which was composed at the end of the second or perhaps even during the fourth century A. and do not allow it to rest in itself.4 Caricature. This renders plausible the hypothesis." which. only by twisting and altering its proper lincaments could it acquire a new emblematic status. Man. intimately accustomed to discern in incongruence the model of truth. manus tolerari potest" (the whole human body must not be in a picture. Caricature is. by means of such small perfections attempts to explain what thing God might be. .':" And nevertheless.

because it must still remain confused and associuted with what is other than itself" (Aesthetics 1:361). Psychoanalysis in fact presupposes the splitting of discourse into an obscure speech by means of improper terms. 8 The territory of the unconscious. because to do so would be to admit II threat of the castration of his own penis. The passage (' 'the translation") from one discourse to the other properly constitutes analysis. on several occasions Freud described symbolic processes that do not allow themselves to be reduced to Jones's formula. In the form of the uncanny.' This formula. furthermore. allows us to ask why modern culture should have so obstinately identified the symbolic with the uncanny. arriving at a . The conclusions of his studies on the uncanny are therefore particulady interesting to us.144 0 THE PROPER AND THE IMPROPER THE PROPER AND THE IMPROPER 0 145 begins to be disturbing. based on repression (which is that of the unconscious). so analysis rediscovers the latent thought behind the manifest symbolic cipher and "heals" the neurosis. in so doing. the equivalent of a complete translation of unconscious symbolic language into conscious sign. and his countcrdcxire that moves him to renounce his perception. exit the libraries of educated persons and enter the unconscious." Hegel opposes it with Oedipus. The unease that Hegel avowed with respect to the symbolic and his diffidence toward the allegorisrn of the Romantic avant-garde arc symptoms of the new attitude that was mani fested through firm mastery of the proper form. to the catalogue of tropes of the old rhetoric. Not only does it furnish the content of interpretation. the animated objects and caricatures of Grandville and Tenniel. does not exhaust the Freudian theory of the symbol. which he constantly linked to the mechanism of repression. rather. in which an entire era had seen the most acute" expression of human spirituality. which invades daily life with increasing force. the boy refuses to admit its reality. wholly coincides with that of the symbolic and the improper. The myth of Oedipus therefore dominates the horizon of analysis in a manner much more profound than its critics heretofore thonght. without coming to a perfect portrayal of its own freedom and animated shape. neither more nor less than certain Christian demons represent a "posthumous life" of the pagan divinities. the boy in fact does neither one nor the other. From this point of view the fetish is nothing hut' 'the substitute for the woman's (the mother's) penis that the little boy once believed in and=for reasons familiar to usdoes not want to give up. which also sums up Freud's attitude toward symbols. It is therefore not simply a coincidence if the essential processes of symbolism brought to light by Freud correspond point by point. is not simply abolished. Faced with the perception of this absence. In the conflict between perception of reality that moves him to renounce his phantasm.. We should learn to see something intimately human behind the feral trails of the monster in which' 'the human spirit tries to push itself forward. he does both at once. Creuzer's Simbolica and the Fisiognomica of Lavater are the last imposing attempts to grasp a superior knowledge in emblematic displacement: both end in parody and uncomprehension. which dissociates every form from its signified. One of these is the Verleugl1ung of the fetishist. It is significant that. The emblematic project.. and in its [objective] existence reveals itself alone" (Aesthetics 1:361). and Odradek's bobbin in Kafka's tale are. it guides and structures the fundamental attitude of analytic discourse itself in its self-positioning before the Sphinx of the unconscious and its symbols. the world of emblematic figurations. becomes a riddle. to understand Schelling's definition of the uncanny as something which ought to have remained hidden but has come to light. after describing the Sphinx as the figure in which "(he symbolic as such . is. the perversion of the fetishist arises from the refusal of the hoy to become cognizant of the woman's (the mother's) lack of a penis. According to Freud. Freud saw in the uncanny tUnheimlichev the estranged familiar (Heimlichei: H For this uncanny is in reality nothing new or alien.2. Perhaps the reason for this "uneasiness" with respect to tile symbolic resides in the fact that the apparent simplicity of the scheme with which our culture interprets signification conceals the repression of a more familiar and original kind of signifying. This reference to the factor of repression enables us. [1. one that does not tamely allow itself to be reduced 'to our cultural scheme. the symbol presents itself as the new Sphinx threatening the citadel of reason. This necessarily presupposes a process of "desymho1i.:wtjon" and of progressive reduction of the symbolic: the "drying of the Zuider Zee . once concluded. With this development. whose response brings "the light of consciousness . The fantastic creatures of Hoffmann and Poe. In fact. The orthodox psychoanalytical theory of symbolism" that is expressed in Jones's apodictic affirmation-« "only what is repressed comes to be symbolized"and that sees in every symbol the return of the repressed in an improper signifier. The Oedipal interpretation of the speech of the Sphinx as a "coded speech" secretly governs the Freudian conception of the symbol.. and. where repression incessantly traces its blazons and imprese. the champion of Enlightenment. but something which is familiar and old~established in the mind and which has become alienated from it only through the process of repression. and into a clear speech of proper terms (which is that of consciousness). a Nachlebcn of the emblematic form. or. as has been observed. As Oedipus discovers the hidden meaning of the enigma of the Sphinx. Freud is the Oedipus who proposes the key intended to dissolve the enigma and free reason from its monsters. in its mechanisms as in its structures. however. The world now becomes the warehouse of jetsam where the uncanny fishes for its scarecrows." which according to Freud substantiates the psychoanalytic process. from this point of view. the clarity which makes its concrete content shine clearly through the shape belonging and appropriate to itself. while the emblem books."!" Nevertheless the meaning of the child's refusal is not as simple as it might seem and rather implies an essential ambiguity. frees the city from the monster.. now becomes the hidden writing of the unconscious.

whieb was already implicit in. It is clear that themechanism of \lcrlcugmmg will not yield to interpretation according to the scheme of II return of the repressed in the guise of an impro~)er signifier. jug it to consciousness. even after the studies of baroque theorists." This formulation works to the detriment both of Jakobsen's definition of metaphor as the "attribution of a signifier to a signified associated by resemblance to the primary Signified" and of the definition of metaphor as the sernic intersection (based on a metonymy) of two terms. however. he repudiates the evidence of his senses. one proper and the other improper. maintaining. repression. man succeeds in appropriating an unconscious content wltho~t ~nng . in which the two contrary reactions consntute the nucleus of a true and proper splitting of the ego (lchlpoltrmg). according to the following scheme: 14 Fetish unconscious _A_j or Here we find something analogous to what occurs in the Verneinung. that is. As both a symbol of something and its negation. however. and that the movement or substitution of one for the other constitutes the metaphorical "transport.this form constitutes the domain par excellence where a science of signs that bad truly become aware of the Saussurian paradox of' 'double unity" might have exercised itself. of the myrholognes. so too perhaps Oedipus can learn something from the Sphinx about symbols. Insofar as the "difference" between the signifier and the signified reaches its maximum in the emblematic form. and of the Romantic critics. The dynamic mechanism of this process could be represented in the following way: 11 entering his consciousness. in those negation-admissions with which the patient confesses to the analyst what he or she is apparently denying. but is.. o~ct /l~ ~ conscious II. Freud defined this process as "lifting of the repression. it is plausibly because of Freud's awareness that repression (Verdrangllng) is inadequate to account for the phenomenon that he h~s r:~~ourse to the term Fer!cugnung. The space of the fetish is precisely this contradiction. by mean. because the psychic content is not simply pushed back ~nt? the ~nconscious. the fetish is simultaneously the presence of that nothingness that is the maternal penis and the sign of its absence. though not. Yet.. the Aristotelian definition of metaphor as the "transport" of an "extraneous" noun. And just as the analystcan perhaps Jearn something from the pervert as far as pleasure is concerned. Indeed. who succeeds in appropriating his own hidden treasure without unearrhingir. an acceptance of what is repressed.·a merely sufficient semiological analysis precisely of the emblematicform is still lacking. the ancient' apotropaic wisdom of the Sphinx. On the one hand. the fetish can maintain itself o~ly with the provision of an essential laceration.v In the course of Western reflection on the sign.146 0 THE PROPER AND THE . this position translates into the prejudice that there are two terms in a metaphor. he recognizes and assumes the reality of that evidence by means ofa perverse symptom. affirmed to the same extent that It IS dented (which does not mean. in some way. of course.IMPROPER THE PROPER AND THE IMPROPER 0 147 unique compromise. Weighing on the numerous recent attempts to interpret metaphor is the initial metaphysical positioning of the problem as the relation of the proper and the improper. with the help of a particular mechanism.3. In this gesture of the fetishist. that it is conscious). which repels by receiving and receives by repelling. on the other. Not only is there no substitution of one signifier for another in the Verleugnung of the fetishist-> indeed the signifiers maintain themselves throngh a reciprocal negation=-but neither can one properly speak of repression. Just as the imprcse display in the blazon the most :ntlmate personal intentions without translating them in the proper terms of the d~seo~rse of reason. once again comes to life.s of a symbol. so too the fetishist emblematizes his most secret fears and desires 111a symbolic blazon that allows him to come into contact with them without their ----- ." 12 The Verleugnung presents us with a process in which." and Hippolyte spoke of "a utilization of the unconscious.

the caricature. between signifier and signified. consists precisely in the fact that we find OUl' selves confronted neither with a pear nor with Louis Philippe. Oedipus appears like Nietzsche's deaf man. but only a game of negation and difference. of diverse nature from them. 23. djffcrcncc'~. that v-bich is material in plausible. Nietzsche. The displacement of metaphor is not. manifes- rs more. and in this space emerges the original difference on which every signification is founded. because of its essential contribution. 161n contrast to the Sphinx and its metaphorical discourse. a. The "sharp wit" (acutezza) of the "divine fabulist" who. between the proper and the improper. the operation of the emblematic form appears to be surprisingly similar to that of the fetishist \1cr/cugl1ung as described by Freud. rior part of the soul with the very deformity of divine contemplafions" (P~Dedo-Dirmysus of the figures. 3. hot exciting and ~. it is apparent that the emblem provides for no positive substitution of one term for the other. Its space is determined by a reciprocal exclusion of the signifier and the signified.. but. not pel'rnillillg T The ""ag{)gjc~iI wisdom of the holy theologian. licit nor be akin to the truth chap. Because of this a third is constituted. in fact. to offer its solution. but (Ire rendered possible by it and assumcd subsequently as its explanation. having been created byit.timnlMing the supesuch that it will seem neither De coclcsti hicrarriti«. "wittily expresses to men and angels his lofty concepts. in fact."pC'nknt". before the figure of Chladni produced on the sand by sound waves. What the scheme proper/improper prevents us from seeing is that in metaphor nothing is really substituted for anything else. without either of the two projects prevailing completely over the other (which would signify. because there is no proper term that the metaphorical one is called upon to replace. Moreover. that are hidden righily c"'plny.\1180 THE PROPER AND THE lMPROPER THE PROPER AND THE IMPROPER I] 149 What remains obscured in both cases is that the "resemblance' and the semic intersection do not preexist the metaphor. as we have seen. It is this barrier that we must now investigate. "Since through then (he negations of the divine are true n!ld the' ilffirmatiot1s incongruous. just as Oedipus's answer does not preexist the enigma. an a posteriori interpretive scheme-makes us discern a substitution where there is nothing but a displacement and a difference within a single signifying act. according to the profound intu ilion of a seventeenth-century dictionary.. irreducible to the exchange of proper and improper. but a pure barrier. pretends.]5 Nevertheless one would search in vain in this "third" for something positive. De veritatc.' .:dmlll1r figures IlS (Chico go: Henry Rcgncry 2. according to Tesauro. vol. appropriate for the un. Metaphor. in the words of a seventeenth-century treatise).!k thinf!::. after the briefest look-s-which the emblematic traditioninvites= into the labyrinth. The same can be said for that emblazoning of the human figure that is. pretends to know what it is that is called sound. a connection ofirnposstbles." which represents King Louis Philippe as a pear (or vice versa). And since the fetish. in which the two contrary reactions constitute the nucleus of what Freud called "the splitting of the ego" (lc!Jspaltrmg). with a singular begging of the question. that surh absurd forms 'hould . If this is true. It would seem to be possible to recognize a proper and improper term. cannot maintain itself except on condition of a laceration. The exemplary success of Philipon's celebrated' 'pear. 1954). Therefore. Notes 1. but from the coupiing and mixture of both one and the other. who. trans. The inadequacy of the Oedipal scheme of the proper and the improper to grasp the essence of metaphor is particularly evident in the emblem: the "painted" or "enacted" metaphor." buries it~ point (acutezz(l. 104. but rather a process of never-snbstantializahls negation between an absence and a presence (because the fetish is both that nullity that is the maternal penis and the sign of its absence)." well grasps the central paradox of signification that metaphor unmasks: the semainein is always originally a synapsis of adynata. in itself nonproblernatic. The theoreticians of the impresa insistently repeat that the emblematic "marvel" (mel"aFiglia) "is not born from the obscurity of words. the space of the emblem is the purely negative and insubstantial space of a process of difference and reciprocal negation-affirmation. Only in a metaphor already crystallized by usage (which is therefore no longer a metaphor at all) is it possible to distinguish a proper and an improper signified: in an originary metaphor it would be useless to look for something like a proper term. The Aristotelian definition of the enigma as a synapsai fa adynata. the /\[eop::tgitc. exemplified in the "soul" and the "body" of the emblem. Sancti Aquinas tation Thomae. . Thus the "body" and the "soul" are in II relation to one another that is. to rhos. emblem. therefore the emblematic form is erected over a true and proper fracture of the semiotic synolon (union of matter and form). there is neither substitution nor transport. Robert W Schmidt di-c. Ycrleugnung offers a model for the interpretation of metaphor that escapes the traditional reduction of the problem and in the light of which the metaphor be~ comes in the realm of language what the fetish is in the realm of things. producing that marvel. 3. one of explanation and of eclipse (a "shadowing over by explaining" and 1I1l "explaining by shadowing over. and fetish point toward that "halTier resistant to signification" in which is guarded the original enigma of every signifying act. "a putting together of impossible things. the death of the emblem). The English translation is from Saint Thomas Co". or from the recondite nature of things. Truth.c-not a relation of manifestations. to be understood etymologically <1<: the act of piercing and opening) precisely ill this juxtaposition of signifier and signified. but within the metaphysical structuring of signification itself. As in VaZeugmmg there is not simply II "transport" from a proper to an improper signified. in his projected Philosaphentnuh: rightly saw in metaphor the originary phenomenon of language and in the "rigid columbariuru" of proper terms nothing else than the residue of a metaphor. for it is but the difference and the reciprocal negation-affirmation of the other two. q. but. Only our ancient Oedipal prejudice-that is. not nell to ndhc-TCto those undecorous im~gc~. simultaneously. 2l 3). caricature. in the emblematic form. Rather. but with the emblematic tension that arises from their confusion-difference.who ~rf lied to matter.

in "Rcmnrqncs of this essay langage tLa psyrho!l([!Yw' 1.i: Mrncstrcrii Phi!n..'1hM then is truth? A r". H. as the vulgar might say. The EngH~h Torino. and nor at the LrW~l11i~n 152. every metand is im. Gornbrich Evptomtion» 6. 1971).suhqil\. elevated. 14. (London: 8.(D~" nn11dm!khc>.1500 THE PROPER AND THE IMPROPER THE PROPER AND THE IMPROPER [] 151 . 1952). in Lacan.m()ly)t':: and linguists.rililurk phisms.e)f. ill c. "The symhol nmsi* of pictures and words.I{"mMaw·" au Xli siecie. E. the notion of a "rhetoric uncnr~~ci(1W.. du function lvi)rks of Sigmu"d Freud. 1695). Venezia." Freud.tnphia i/Hogfnflfll.~ir(lw>('f(j ewtmit1f1fr ill [ronte co' rettorici prcccrti del (Ari~to!(. but is situated.Aristotle). c:rnonirat. ("L'imtence can be judged from the fAd that it anticipntes Ofe by a de la of the year the essay of Lacan in which his ideas on the "~igniller" in La psyc1in1?(llysc.l saint Anselm" translation it in Art (New York. in short only became as 3 subject of artistic eTcMion.240fl". because that are proper transposed. ]956)~ rcprinrcd in E< The importance P Bel1w'ni~tel Proh/i'!l1r.H nriginally publisbcd "The trans.rS rh~nk' to its (rr. For rhe second definition. as a subject and security" and. body and soul" (Petrus Abbas.l11uek ~fCsau~'o.ctonyrnic) the suhstituted with the rest of the chain.'i'de lingrdstiq/{(. Befits.nor adorned.lg made the decisive sicp sho<'viJJgthnt the unt0n_<.n'}.scarc every detercolumbarinm Whoever rnination. from Freud is from "Negation. Dialogo dcl'impr("M' vulgarc like the die.. 1957). immovable. aristotrliro. 111i.('ope. voJ. Hogarth sur la Press. Alain de Lil!e (Strasbourg.\1/1rmimic {'I mf/nl'horc he dis['crncd of which one is suhstituted that "the of metaphor (Florence. Peter Lombard. aphor breathes prcgnatcd in short: asum of the intuition the great of human rdnthms and that. interpretation of Freud. sirnbolir« 0 (Paolo Giovio. 3. II rota ". without of this. mente rhftpnm(' inscrtttioni divino Aristntclr imprcsc tivis windQ".153." Jean Hippolyto. Prom The Stanriarr! Friirinn of tlu: Coml'/erc Psw h"logical It f(lllow~ from the di"grnm ill the interval penis. in motion. 19.«: e di tuu« l'nrte sia idea delle argtltc(_ze hrroirh« COI1!ttlt/H(' can he live ill a world of repose et !apidaria ogni genere di figure csprcssivc di arguti e inE('gl1(l.\' C(lrmnon :~mo1!g p~y('"ho. 1903~26))< commonly called emblem: kind of figure . Scipinnc Ammiraro. Emm. of Caricature.Cnnnocchirt. Javelet. fully developed lettre dans l'inc("~n'1('ient. after long usc. can e. 1t>gic the severity win.l11d inscription expressive of clever and ingcn10us crmcr:pts cxnmincd in the. Henry. [the A. (Fails. Amstcrdnm . 507).'. IS57b. connection remain' for the other. and of all the sym110!k 1652. Principle. 5. invincible militari ('.t cnncrosr.lion present 15. '." in Ernst Kris .While "''''11 that have been poetically :rncl hinding equal and. . or. l's)"ch('md\'(i(' DI. opened by the rcciproril by the sign X) of the object 0.' frigidity honynud octagonal like a die. in and Psysur la thHI the fetish is not identified neg:Jtion (inDinkd with the-ohject. 21.. Fght of the rbciorical precepts of' the divine. vol. The tenacity who wrote that its place in present remains is such that traces of it even in Lacan. that the secret of nwL"rl". (lilly through Ih. and E. 236. Roman Jak(\lw\l\'~ definition (1965).l1 th~:-:orthodox CfllK't'Ptinn of symbolism.'em dell» Imprrsr 16. Since then. hidden signified "arises from two signifier."k. however. 887. 7.. i~ individucl' edifice ""O to a given people.\"II/. of anrhmpo.l." (Paris." II h in Ihe parar. Poetics. Kris. of the dogmn of substitution the metaphor the signifying in which chain" de I'essence du langage. 10.241. The quotation Works de Freud. dans la decouverte gil1~ by hmcsStraclwy Benl'cni'I('. taking He adds.'linn Idc<:. firm. 1967). of concepts will hardly cli~pl~y~ the rigid regularity and frigidity believe that the conce!.( the Cml1l'/("(1' parle the maternal chological Vemril"lllllg J 2. H{:. is in "A la recherche C[1:11 ofSigll1l111d Freiu]. It is worth specifymg that our critidsm is dir~dcd .l'" is to be sought. II. Image et iT'.. but is a rhetoric. . Only through the belief thai this sun. . Uncanny.d Edition in imago 5 (1919). of Sigmnnr' "Cornmcntaire 13. and. of a Roman to nlclhp!r1atic'. 9.'al'h())'. or idea of the bcroic conceptions art cnnfJbling every and lapidary of the P17ii!'sopilmhllc/I are in vol. of metonymies." and edited E." has become f~lth{)ugh without anyone h. a sense." Tire SI(ll1d(ll"d Edit. forth ill ir. "'. in particular.. rna" forgets himself 4. in The .ti0HS does not hrtvc a rhetoric. "giustn proportione di anima e di corpo" (The just proportion of soul and body) 1557). fragments this table is a truth in it. is from of the ComT'ltr~ P. From frcudicnnc" erale (Paris. of a .ych()/ogif"1I1 1955). 1598).d". Oioghw 51 see A. furgettulness of thi~ primitive world of metnphors . 1(66). Werk(! (Leipzig. 10 of the Kroner edition of tl1c work» of Nietzsche: Kroner. i~rather nothing more than the residur of (/ "". "The cited ill R.

but. the enfant prodige who had renewed the study of IndoEuropean linguistics with the brilliant Memorie sur le sistema primitif des voyelles (Report on the primitive vowel-system) pursued to the limit an exemplary in152 . a study that would never be published. the Cours puts semiology radically into question. reveals precisely this experience of a radical aporia.. and. as Nietzsche did.THE BARRTER AND THE FOLD 0 153 The Barrier and the Fold Chapter 19 stance of the impossibility of a science of language within the Western metaphysical tradition. Saussure did not abandon linguistic study as Nietzsche had done. Saussure confessed his discouragement before the "ineptie absolue" (absolute ineptitude) and contradictions of linguistic terminology: I am extremely disgusted with all of that and with the difficulty found in general in writing ten lines on the subject of linguistic facts that might have a common sense. that there are things that continue to exist when one passes from one order of ideas to the next. I will explain why there is not a single term used in linguistics to which I would assign ~ny meaning whatsoever. its closure. Preoccupied for a long time above all with the logical classification of these facts .." To the extent that it reflects the authentic thought of Saussure. in a certain sense. in the final analysis. and lends urgency to the reassessment of the place of the Cours in the history of modern linguistics. This will end despite myself in a book in which. I confess." 1 This reduction. the insufficiency of philology. The first document in what has been defined as "the drama of Saussure' . one can speak of things "according to this or that point of view. Saussure represents in fact the precious instance of a philologist who. The truly ultimate law of language.6 is found in a letter to Meillet written in 1894. It does not contain the origins of semiology. during the period of his studies on Baltic intonation. his having fully appreciated their consequences.L The notion of the sign on which modern semiology is based is founded on a metaphysical reduction of signification that remains as yet unknown to "the science that studies the life of signs in the domain of social life. interrupted only by the publication of melanges of brief technical notes. but the notes and sketches that remained from it and that later were conflared in the course on general linguistics show Saussure's lucid awareness of an impasse not merely in his work." being certain of finding a secure ground in the object itself. but in the science of language in general: Behold our profession of faith in linguistic matters: in other fields. and that one may consequently be perrnitted to consider "things" in diverse orders. was made possible by the special circumstances of the first appearance of the text around which the modern semiological project has been formed." The critical edition of the Cours edited by Rudolf Engler was published in 1967 in the only appropriate way. can be done in linguistics .. will I be able to resume lUy work at the point where I have left off. without enthusiasm or passion. the experience that constitutes perhaps the most essential «spect of Saussure's thought: The publication of the Cours.. the vanity of all that. as a synopsis of a II the sources from which the 1915 textwas derived.. It is well known and unnecessary to emphasize here that the courses presented by Ferdinand de Saussnre in Geneva from i907 to 1911 were not intended for publication and that he had in fact explicitly ruled out the possibility of publishing them. closing himself for thirty years in a silence that ape peared inexplicable to many. when Saussure was working on his study of intonation and accent in Lithuanian. 7 This book was never written. in the circumstances of 1915. With uncharacteristic bitterness. caught in the net of language. I increasingly see the immensity of the work that would bc necessary to show to the linguist what he is doing . and who had to become a philosopher or succumb. we deny on principle that objects are given. And only after having done this. if anything. at least so far as we dare to speak of it. but.. as if they were given in themselves . that is. an impasse. whose roots are sunk deep in the history of Western philosophy. is that there is never anything that can reside in a single IlI. presenting as a series of positive results what was in reality the final reef against which Saussure had shipwrecked at the conclusion of a voyage begun almost fifteen years before. at the same time. 2 What needs emphasis is that these courses represented the culminating moment of an intellecrual crisis. felt. the Cours cannot be considered during the subsequent years as the foundation of semiology." The documents of this crisis were long ago published by Benveniste and then reiterated in a memorable article by him without.. however. In linguistics..

except by means of this same plexus of eternally negative differences. which is an external trace. The claim that there is a close relationship between the history of Western metaphysics and the interpretation of signification as the unity of a signifier and a signified is explicitly affirmed by a critical tradition whose project is formulated as the substitution of a science of writing (grammatology) for the science of signs (semiology).'} And further on: But the signifier and the signified contract a bond by virtue of determinate values born from the combination of a quantity of acoustic signs with a quantity of excerpts that can be made from the mass. who had reached the point of no return in his knowledge of language. But precisely because of this fact alone. metaphysics is founded on the privileged status of the signified. thus that a is incapable of designating something without the help of b. It would require above all that the signified were something to be determined in advance. where one is "abandoned by all the analogies of heaven and earth. But where in truth would the possibility of the contrary lie? Where would be for a singleinstant the point of positive irradiation in all of language. understood as a positive unity of signans and signatum. 13 IH. however. It is astonishing.12 spoke-with apparently paradoxical expressions that recall the Aristotelian definition of the enigma as the "putting together of impossible things" -of a "plexus of eternally negative differences. cipher." of a "stable bond between things that preexist the things themselves. the barrier that scpnrates the signifier and the signified is there to show the impossibility for the sign to produce itself in the fullness of presence." the sign is certainly the last element that could offer that "point of positive irradiation" within language on which a linguistic science finally liberated from the "ineptitude of current terminology" might be constructed. in the affirmation according to which the originary experience is always already trace and writing. the inclusion of language in the semiological perspective makes it something impossible. . whether it be through any part of itself (for example. we are in the presence of something positive in its order. A decisive passage in the notes testifies that its very nature as a sign language is. According to this project. To isolate the notion of sign. or that neither of the two has value. like writing. the signified always already in the position of signifier. the particular case of the vocal signs is the most complex of all the known particular cases. Nevertheless. we would have something that can resemble positive terms by placing in juxtaposition a certain difference of the idea with a certain difference of the sign. Where the text of the Cours says "as soon as the sign is considered in its totality.2. Saussure. something beyond grasp: Language is nothing but a particular case of the theory of signs." etc. understood as the fullness of presenc:e. and it is not. "the root. the sign is rather the site of absolute difference." the notes say more cautiously: Thanks to the fact that these differences condition one another. from the Stoa to medieval logic. This privilege is the same one that establishes the superiority of the phone over the gramma. in the tradition of Western metaphysics. The illusion of a full and .). II Far from simplifying the linguistic act. as the history of the notion of the sign demonstrates. the critical edition of the Cours shows that the paragraph in which the sign is presented as something positive does not exactly reflect the notes of the students. or in fact that both of them are without value except through their reciprocal difference. Saussure was certainly influenced by the didactic need to veil his doubt regarding the possibility of finding a positive term in language. has its basis in the essential solidarity of every interpretation of signifying with the metaphysical interpretation ·of presence). He was gesturing toward that difference and that "connection of impossibles" that has been covered and repressed in modern semiology with the' 'harrier resisting signification. The specific character of the grarnmntological project is expressed. from the original ami problematic Saussurian position on the linguistic fact as a "plexus of eternally negative differences" is to push the science of signs back into metaphysics. however. where the metaphysical fracture of presence comes to light in the most blinding way. The science of the sign will onlybe able to attainits critical phase through the awareness of this impossibility (whose origin. What would be necessary for this relation of signifier and signified to be intrinsically given? Above all it would require that the idea be determined in advance.. ." In the semiotic algorithm. for Saussure. in the general theory of signs. and so on. with respect to the signifier. language flndsitsclf in the absolutely impossible situation of being something simple (or directly graspable in its mode of being by our understanding)." What weighed upon him most was the avoidance of substantializing the terms of that scission that had revealed itself to him as coessential to language. 10 If language is the absolutely insubstantial space of these "eternally negative differences." of a double unity "that has an obverse and reverse. ancl this because of the fact that linguistic symbols have no relation to what they ought to designate. and it is not. and likewise b without the help of a. once granted that there is no vocal image that responds more than any other to what it most say?" In his lectures. Therefore this relation is but another expression of the values taken in their opposition.154 0 THE BARRIER AND THE FOLD THE BARRIER AND THE FOLD 0 155 term. Insofar as it determines the double status of the linguistic unit. while at the same time. of the spoken word over the written. .

"once pleated").mtiflil as a young god.)f its author" (R. is less the centrality of this concept than that rhe idea of the "just order" should present itself from the beginning of Greek speculation as an articulation. 19 Faithful in this to the aporropaic project.oshinn. from the movements of the stars to tile succession of seasons and tile relations among humans and gods. already present in this article (Meillet Spt'_"c.w"uw's notes for the COI/!'s. What we can do is recognize the originary situation of language. 'be. rather. The algorithm Sis mnst therefore reduce itself to simply the barrier (i) but in this barrier we should not see merely the trace of a difference. which characterizes the human as zoon logon echon (living thing using language). "As for a hook on this subject. and not. de Sanssure] had and set down solid the be~1 hook all comparative had sown lile"~ rheorics. should then be transferred to the numerical-acoustic sphere.15 Metaphysics is not. 3. this "articulation" of presence took the name of harmonia. but not transcending it. which governs the interpretation of the sign in Western tbought. implies the awareness that there is no possible origin beyond the signifier and the trace: the origin is an architrace. In the dawning language of Greek thought. 1952). in fact. pcrhnps the greatest of hi' students: grammar IF. and of the semiotics in solidarity with it. be already simple in the etymological sense (sim-p/ex. Both gramma and phone in fact belong to the Greek metaphysical project. in the Vcrrcugnung of the fetishist. of signifier and signified. See pwcluced destiny.'e the definitive thought . they found nothing that corresponded to the notes of his ct\lcient<: "E de S8u""rc destroyed completely his ha~ty scribblings where he rraced oul day by day the sketch of hi~ exp. whose signification had appeared to the dawning age of Greek thought as a mode of speaking that was neither a gathering nor a concealment. still belongs to the tactile-visible sphere. 183.1560 THE BARRIER AND THE FOLD THE BARRIER AND Hm FOLD 0 157 originary presence is the illusion of metaphysics. vol. for Heraclitus. we cannot but approach that which must. That this arriculation . 18 that the perfect "jewel" of the cosmos implied therefore for the Greeks the idea of a laceration that is also a suture. but the name of the principle itself of the "just" station or situation in presence. COUts dt: firlgllis/f'l'l(' gr'ncralc. that presence he always already caught in a signification: this is precisely the origin of Western metaphysics. Only when we have arrived in the proximity of this "invisible articulation" will be be able to say we have entered into an area from which the step-backwardbeyond of metaphysics." the Tnlprcs<iol1. but in the fold of the presence on which they nrc established: tbe logos. the philosopher on whose thought that critique is based hesitated to declare that step complete or even merely possible . the grarnmatological project effects a salutary critique of the metaphysical inheritance that has crystallized in the notion of sign. whicb in the absence of an origin establishes the very possibility of appearance and signification. in se.ksf Snu:-sure's "blue eye full of mystery") is still active in the form of the" "three portraits' ~ in o an article by Ilrnvcniste from 1964: "First the brillhlll beginner. The closure of me til physics. an agreement. 2.'/. Engler. "one cannot dream 1967). 2 (Paris. a jrrctaposirion (harmodro and ararisco originally meant "join" or "c(lnnect" in the carpenter's sense). of Meillet. Preface to the Cours. The originary nucleus of signification is neither in the signifier nor in the signified. however. of sensible and intelligible. surely. becomes really possible. is this fold that gathers and divides all things in the "putting together' of presence. Around rhe Indo-European foots of this word we find a constellation of terms that points toward a cardinal notion of the universe of the Indo-European peoples: that of the just order that governs the rhythm of the universe. finally freed from difference. Engler (Wiesbadcn. as the sign of a "writing in the soul")." he h8r! declared to his friends and pupils. " The metaphysics of writing and of the signifier is but the reverse face of the metaphysics of the signified and the voice. which. The "rnyrh" of Saussurc . where it is still possible to discern the solidarity between signification and metaphysical articulation. Meillet . Even if it were possible to reveal the metaphysical inheritance of modern semiology.' who . \. We can for the moment perhaps only have an intuition of what might be a presence restored to the 'simplicity of this' 'invisible harmony": the last Western philosopher recognized a hint of this harmony in a painting by Cezanne in the possible rediscovered community of thought and poetry. of it: "[111m! gi. Placing writing and the trace in an initial position means putting the emphasis on this original experience. for the moment.16 thought oflanguage from the outset from the point of view of the' 'letter. Notes L E de Sanssurc. which opens a world and over which language holds itself. but this does not mean that it has really succeeded in accomplishing that "step-backward-beyond" metaphysics=-with greater prudence. 17 What interests us here." It is probable that this destruction ever written. simply the interpretation of the fracture of presence as a duality of appearance and essence.lr~hing for S. And the human is precisely this fracture of presence. which is embodied in the double structure of the sign. but the topological game of puHing things togetherand articulating (synnpseis). nnrl nevertheless from A.3. ('Pcrdin. ix).lI}d de S8:US:'. the idea of a tension that is both the articulation of a difference and unitnry. expressed their surprise in their preface when. neither in writing nor in the voice. remain at a distance. it would still be impossible for us to conceive of a presence that. in the passage from the visible to the acoustic aspect of language. critical edition by R. this "plexus of eternally negative differences" in the barrier resistant to signification (that Oedipal repression has made inaccessible).Uff')" he had not campletd}' fulfilled his in Linguisriqu» his/or/qoE ct flng!fisrique gen- ha1e. hOld rnnck his mark on numerous pllpils. its transcendence. 51. was only a pure and undivided station in the open. Heraclitus alluded to this "most beautiful" and "invisible" articulation in the fragments (8. that the original experience be always already caught in a fold. Sechehaye and Bally. which. whose model we have attempted to delineate in rhe aporropaic ainos of the Sphinx. 14 By restoring the originary character of the signifier. chap. the curators of the edition of 1915. in the melancholic profundity of the emblem. 54) where harmonia is not simply harmony in the sense familiar to us. defining "grammar" as the reflection on language and conceiving of the phone' as semaniike (that is. "He 3.1~ not mr rely casual. testifies to a decisive turn in Western thought.

18. OfGrmnl11ai%gy. 'realized. Greek ororisko. 5·6. 37. 8. lor 101 n. J6 of Apbrodisins unity of signifier to configure is no longer valid. I Does a path open up here. 16. 84. 110 n. 7 Avicenna . Miami Press: 1971). 98. !f1ngll3gc. 33.94.'irmSHIrc 12 (954). See also syrnbo] Bacon. Bertran de. In a linguist who has brough.. 16. J4. -." in Grdnchtr«. J J4 French philosophy. see P. 8 . Benveniste. (th. according the meditative and secretive young man. arms. First.. 91. 2. 157~58 83.{)h1~lIIs in General Linguistic's. 8. )I. 108: n. 15. 4 allegory: Althusscr.snre. 89 n. Alfred. ritu. phantasm.(lly convinced that whoever treads on the territory ("Notes of language. Walter. Benveniste of language) distinction in the narrow I1In(/r.. Spivak (Baltimore: J(Jh. 6. incdncs de E de Saussure." in Annnairc 4. 158 n. trails Mary Elizabeth Meek (Coral Gables.' Auden. "Notes ine<lites de F. 77-79. 79. 80-85. and pneuma. Ibid. as critical in the rigorous 5. 10 u. anxious look the question manner. 9 n.I belonging of poetry and thought?" from M. 9 n.u is. Anthony. 33].'o SfllISSUrC. J47. and See also poetry Benveniste's of a double signifiancr and his search of hng_'EJ~lge (fh~t oe defined I") Cecco d'. Guillaume. 158 n. Boethius. Ascoli. J58 n. and citation. Meilkl. and Jacoponc Aries. 3. aspect" 'understood. De fa grml'mmf'/ogic: trans . 12? n. 88 n. . 79.e hid a drama which must have been painful. of ~igl1ifying to that of the Sphinx. 17. problem and signified) by oprosing of meaning. Charles. Magnll" 19-20 3-10. 99 . 19.: University of a M. more of human langll"gc (11'-. 13. '99 Saint. II. 139 n. I transfigured in all identity full of mystery. 7. g/nfrnh'. 19. J2. 14 102. 119-20 Barbeyd'. 24 24.. 9 n. work of the painter is the fold I of that which comes to presence and of presence itself I become simple. Bcnveniste . 116~17. Bataille. J 15. 85. followed by "S. metaphor.. bearing des Hautes on which his life would thenceforth 'ric rE'cofc pratique . a little weary. Guillaume d' 50 74 1 the first of which must be "recognized notion of the sign (a~ positive find tht second. !O3. Vincent de. "This ~ilenc." 63. [I THE BARRIER AND THE FOLD to a portrait painted by his brother ink" the discipline. To E. Alexander 10 n. "We arc on the contrary profo"."me . 2. a new "situorion" of nrc inadequacy phenomenon [IS art: and commodity. Hildegard 125-26 13. which there is no transition) which the semiotic for an "other to the. that leads to the co. English translation from P.a l'Ecole des Haures Etudes. 25.49. 101. 74-77. 51-52. 20. 12J n.. Benjamin . and significario». Ihe s<'. 80-SI. Lntin ars. 118~19. Benn. Alberti. W. 12. 21.1lI0"t. 54 8 n. 149-50 Arnaldo of Villanova. 8. from the root includes. de F. This constellation referred ." 64··65.." Cnhicrs F de . Gottfried. 135. the Oedipal notion us. Romano. 2 (Paris. imttgcs~ Uc("ordTl1gto a I1lctaphor found in Plato. vol. and 12. l . J22 n. "Noles ini'dilcs de F de S"lmlllc. Bsudclairc. 7. to the phantnsy. melancholy. 77~78. 16. 3. 153. Hcidc. (lOP. it was nggra\'8I"crl with the years and never had !HI ont('(]me)~ [Benveniste. j emblem. of the science spective semantic of the semiotic semiotic 1 per- acedia (sloth). 89 n. 125.J 58 makes a :. 39 98 50 143-44. Vedic des instirta. in his dreaming. J4 n. This critical edition ·of Engler is the only one that can be defined sense. J 17. Cours. 50. 9. 17 26. de . 44. 37-38.. 136. Fla. !O n. de Sau:.. Like much of contemporary or Jess openly declared. ]3. 3. Gayatri C. 4. 95-96. Apollinaire !\pulei"" Aquinas 101 Aristotle. 6.raJr.ms')urc apres un df:mj~!'declelH Cahier« F de Saussure 20 (196J~ rcptlbE~hc-d in Benveniste. arc conceived as "a writing in the soul. 6. 69. 14 n. Balzac. 79 Honore de.48. Le vornbidnirc 1963).Herne (Paris. 1977). 86 n. 150 n. "Cezanne. 104-5 94-95 311d de. vol.." 21 (1964)." Cahiers F. of the linguistic in irs \\"hokne~. 56 VOll. . 16. 25-26.Ill the anolngks of heaven and earth" ineditcs de F Abraham.' healed. H" 54 Augustine. So". 50 Georges. 5. "Notes 10.26 Aicher of Clairvaux Alcuin. 100 n. Saussnre 65). Alfred the Fnglhhrnan. 5.~ Hopkins. Averroes. lang\lage.)""'-'". d<. in our view. "In the late. 8 n. Iranic arta. Benevento. 7. crassim/ and Clrristian Ideas ()fWorld Harmon-: (Baltimore. Philippe. 35. 54 Emile. See Jacques Derrida. 1971). 6 159 Born. (Haly Abbas). 44-45. 141 xviii. among others. Louis. 109. "Letrr e.ggi'f. whose. 6 . 32-45). 41-46. mode and and between 42A3. Problimrs de Iingnistiqi« glnf. 26.s. Saint." 64). moy be "aid t~ bc abandoned by . Engli~h trans. 125 . in that of Hcidcggcr. the thought of Derrida too has its basis. Already Aristotle 17. 1969). 1 50. (Paris. J6 n. 4. 20 rnelancholy. Beauvais. 272. 8. l. J967). Leo Spitzer. 12. point (ow'H'd the ·some area Ihat we. Roger. and at last the final image of the aging gentleman. already of dignified tense with his internnl nefix itself". we owe Ow most lucid perception an account sense for giving about .. 86 n. 1. in Ren Char. 9. Albcrtus Karl. 110 n. 121 139.57 da.. 77. on melancholy. authority: /\nvergne. Problcmcs ric Ihrguisfiqnr. de S"""". have here attempted Aurevilly. 18 n.~tIJnning entrance during the Paris years.85.:~ L964- Index Compiled by Hassan Melehy cessity.c character which derives 'Ali ibn 'Abbas al-Magiux: 94. and signification. 17 Binet." of terms. 158 n. Bingen. 2. 155. 121-22 n. then". Etudes. xv. 120 Saint Thomas. 58 tutions indocuropccnes . And metaphor.

and disavowal (I'rrlmgll'mg). commodity: 7. 51-53.-J . Mnnss . Brosses.J. 95. 80. 109 n. 128. lkideggcr. 94 48-49. John. 24. 48-49. Hippolytr. 19-21. lOG. 7 n. 12. See also lmngination 102-3. 54.<. 5 27 n. 14 lie 124~25 Feneon. DIIIIlo Elegies. 153. 23.87 124-25. on feti shism. 14 n. 32. 14 IL and signification. Christ: and acedia. 79.91.34 Derrida . Giordano.. !lei ririe h Monf(lie.8611. 52. caricature: Cassian. of commo(l'InC$. 9-10 n.. 32. 140 n. 51 n . Garbo. !. desire: and acedia. symbol 146 xvii 19. Jean-Louis. 4. Bl'llcghe]. On Hazlitt. 5 J 16. Albrecht. 42A3. 39 M~rot.26. criticism: and poetry. Hippocrates. 101 89 11. I. INDEX 145A7. 17. 14 lnnguagc: and phan~ilslTJ: 76~77. 158 n. 33. See also Waller. See also metaphor. Marcel. metaphysics: metonymy: II. 109. 10. S . Hierocles. 11 56. symbol Benjamin.96 Courbet. 12()~21: and 111-23. Hypatia.18 12 Lorris. 104-9. 1\1 "(isse.: and melancholy.-P. lSI Bosch. 103. 108-9. n. 94. Alphonse. King. G nstave . 50 27 n. 19. 7 n. 130 n. Gautier. 4. 4. nnd phantasm. nllegory~ hmgH~ge~ syrnbot and sign. Creuzer. 151 n. 16. 14-15 n. 144. Hoffmann. 8J-83. 11. Bruno. emblem: and mel"rho!'. J.. 10 n. See also Ramou . metaphor: Girolamo. 7. 142 von. 78 50 i21 n. Daniel. Engler. and (Iter/in (sloth). 7. I 0 1. 101 n. 42.94. . 86 n. K" 107 14 n.. Fre. 8 n .5 K leist. of Caristo. and art. Max. 86 n. 17. 145A7. C'hrysippus. 129 149 109. (Vcrirugliimg): Giallo. 18 n. 14. 127 GnrgmHuil. 39 Friedrich. 38 8 n. 34.48 . (30 n. See also Freud. 15. 96~98. 121 n . on symhol~.. 43. 87 n.30. 36 . 69-71. Oedipus Eri. Mcrcuriale. 102 . 52 Em. 34 Const~]1tine the African. Leiris. See also 152. Jones. Robert. and sign. Hierc'llymll. 5 139. 64 (F('r/CIIgl1Jmg).46. 32. 24 Flaubert. xviii D""t0 Alighrcri. 15 n. Daudet. Diocles Diogenes Dionysus disavowal 128 .160 0 INDEX and symbol. Werner. 8 n. Giacomo Jean de. Willinm.. Isaac of Stella. 17 Gottfried.20. xv fetish: and disavowal and metaphor 56-60. 16. 3. Arcopagitc. 5 80 and cmhletn . 19··21. "I n. 2. Paul. 34. Marx.8 80. 6 16. 150 n. Charles. JOl Geoffrey. 2. I GOf. 86 n. and spirit.42 Hulcwirz Hnysmans. Bernardo.. 24. Pieter. 4 101 n. 142 13. 102. and n. See also love Faidit. Karl.slratll'. 125-30. 144 Friedrich. 50 Cezanne. 44-45 158 n. L. 2. 147 Saint. Gordonio . Guido delle. 50 144 8 II. 14.99.ch. Meung. 136-37. 6. E"I). Lombard. Jerome.. n.25. object as. 41 . Mnupassnnt. 78. Descartes. 6. 144 39. Forgues. 117 ol1d phantasm. Eugenio. 149. 74. 54 and heroic love. 50. and art. n. 140 n. 127. Cappcllanus. and symbol. 3. 2 16-18. 140 n. 112-16. 101 n. :llld fetishism. 12. 35. 1 Louis Philippe.SO. 9. pl1~nt"'m. See also 129-30 14 n .2 14 n. 135. Johann ueu. 157 Henry of Ghent. 114. 95~96. 116.81. Gauguin. 54 80.41-46. Victor. 13. 52. Johann Wolfgang Gornhri. !52~58. n. 97-98 ~"c al:o psychology Mcille}. 3 See also Freud. Karl fetishism: Ficino. value. 63 53. Arnaut. and phantasm. 56. Felix. 131 n. and useKarl 121 Samuel T.. 100 n. 50. Michel. Clement. xvi 78-81. 91 Jakobson. 130 n. 50 Buonarmti. 79. Jean de. 9 n.12 Brummell.signiflcation. J 42 142. 90. pneuma. Paul. 145~47 Hugh of St. 127. Klein. 75. 14. 90. 92 Climachns . 103-7. 15l. Jean. William. RomAI1.. 155-57 32. and love. Gustave. 24 and disavowal 147A9. 52. Hegel. 8 111 . 36. 21. 1. 3. W E. 83.17. Klee. 16 libido: nnd melancholy. hierog!yphic. an'.51-52. 140 VOI1. Kafka. Jacques. See 'Ali ibn 'Abbas aJ'~hgi"'i Harvey. HoropoUo. Celan . xvi. 150 n. 51. 36-38. disavcwal Galen. Guillaume de. 10 n. 9. Lorenzo Chalcidiu<. 11 n. and love. 4. grnmmatology: 112-15 0161 Lacan. 93. 72 n . 15 100 6-7 91 119 141-42 and fetish. Brown. Gregory. 49.""!ream011t. 138. 147-50. 135141-51.netonymy. Lentini. 31-33. 88 n. 36~38.. 36. de. Gaucelrn. Michcl""gdo Migne . Colonne. 6 Guy de. G. 3. 3. T. 6 6. 4. 14 n.l . 85. George (Ikall). 109. 10. [J. Homer.'and 114-15. 40 19.86-87 Dina del. 56 2 50. 120 10011. I l . and libido.83. 11-15. ff(ishism and .77. 8. nll'l:lllchr\ly. Marsilio. irony: and criricism. Coleridge.· sigllifkation. 7. allegory.18 n. S igmllmJ. 35. See also Lewis. and love poetry. 39 The"phile.120 Jean. Fourier.3 9 n· 6. Il7 . 32. 77. 147-49. 7 11. xv-xvii Dada: find commodification. 4 121 n. 95. 116: on mclanch(lly. M anet. 7 145 and emblem.53-54 n. 56 50 34. Ascanio. 1O0 52 138. 40 medieval: 47 r"1l1hlkhu~. Edou ard..7 Charles N.70. Paul. !53 enigrna: and signification. 158 n. 85. Mnllarrne. 6 Comtc de.. 25-26.96. 100 n. and emblem. 4. 34.7. 21. n. J57 11. 24 Peter. Karl. Byron. 91 Brust. 91. Ernst H. 40. 44. 157 n. Heraclitus. And symbol. and sign. 86 n. Martin. Sigmund.4 Costa ben Luca (Qu~ta ibn Luca) . Lord (George Andreas. 77.ld. 130 n.71. 12. ' Gaspard. 31-33. Marx. and love poetry. (I'CrIClIgllilllg). 123 n. n11d rnelanrholy. 149. 8. 123 n. 107-8. and emblem.91. Laertrus. Rene. 119. Herder. See also love Cavalcnnri . 31-33. 8. 144 Kerenyi . > Jaeger. 7. Jacques.26. 44 Fpnccsl'O of Barberino . Lavater. Sigmllnd Donne. l. 5 J55-56 144 n. and metaphor. Chaucer. Franz. Guido.37. of. 4[' 44 de.. 16~18.. 8. Gerson. and pneuma. C.the. Gmndville . 108. 114. 80 xvii Paul. E.18. 4. 24-26 J9-21.. 7 Mcissonier.115-16 Haly Abbas.39 Durer. . love: heroic. I. and signification. 51. 38. 63-67. Soren. 6. A. 59.130 Kierkegaard. Henri. 149. 56. 3 medicine. Giehlow. 81.. 36. Lowes. 0. Gordon). 139 I lrmgnng« the. 1. von. Holderlin.48. and fetishisrr.53 53 John.48. Oil love. 9. 115. spirit. 32. 2.47. 21. 117 Stephane. PI'cyrif'l'friif. Witold loris. Saint. 6 de Medici. 150 2 and melancholy.51-53. Rudolf. 13.. 11. 98 99. 144 15811. srgnrf1cation la Rochelle. 143 John. 15. Leon.22 . 8 n. Sec also Marx. 100 138. acedia. 44. 131 n.49. 122 n. I .. 158n. 24.117. 3 8 n. 1 12~! 6. and spirit. 8 131 n. Condivi. Ernest.

and love.. 8 n. ".i~ Piero-:.l. (\/('1"{r'_u[..:'~'1_!'1~~1!: 4! 1.91100.:tL' '... Tt• . Ovid. 57 .1lld!n('. "r~. 11. :14_ Sr« ar'so· '-dl".87 poetry. S'C(?also 129. 1:-27-·30. .':"~-dh1"1nd de.16. 83 119 :" . 87 Zeno. 73-7:.+..:1. and ph.1·.::f 43. \-i[des('o (JfTir}~nu\: ]}4 nt Obrist..ti \Vi-'rJffl-itl. HS ll.124-25. 24~26.]r~F~'~ 34 de. ~n~~_gin_. 109 n.: . '+~'l~'c \/..::. j3-34. 6. rT~(l.38<'39. 90-Wi: rpel. R~1":'11~T"d.]c: "1'::::. xvi-xvii Plutarch. -S~11~I~:~r~'!c(.:.~hl:::..\r+:H·.::C~lC=:=:.~'fT'-m! and .' '~1-. 4. nil. R{~stif .!1c·_.c" 117 .:_.~nh. See also Freud. 63-67.·..! l7: l!. p. 75-76. IOn.l"':~-rh.. l':~"'!"-"'-:l~' :'. Ch~\dG:'. Edglll' Allan. V/" 59 signific. Phiiitas. 14. 81-83.::''01.1 medicine.14n.lk2'O"y. 40 Origen.·of Cyrelle. n. \VC. . So.37 38.. :."" 0. 115..c.. 91-100. xvi-xvii. [11(. F:':C(l. D.. Pislnia. 91.: 16 147~50. I'hilipor. 10 n.'~!{'gj I J6. 1·. I I. Kar].:l_::.50 7.l-~:.~. and r:!~·~:~:ir.dsry~ Paui.. :.~n... and ~"1'F:!':T'~'~'-. n.:e. 85. and P'" ·'. l-Ierval. 23: and. GErard de" 1~1-H .'''"'.40. 14 Sade: Erwin. ! S8 u.:~..:'~t.82.. 55 Rohde.znifcc!.8 11. J.0 fe. ami r'T. J37~39: 51-52 145~~P. 101 n.'. ~\:~~:U'~~..~·.". .Y11'~~rd Antoin~. [[4-15. 18.'~.!l~()r!: 10] 11.:. 71 xix [I INDEX' rr"·1\'h:~. 155-56. Spcfigk'. INDEX D 163 ]4 11. 72 n. 100 n.Ji::'-0' 'T~..':.Arthur. 10'7.-"rn....17 Henan.]'elic:t. J04-5: and p:::. l'-'iusil.I:.I-.k. and spirit.'> 7J-89~.: RUke) ~'~lllf-~'r Maria.md magic..f~. 88 1'1810. ! 17 X\-·~. 88 n. J21 n. ". See 1 7t Hci~"tt·~:~h. 18 . ~n'd I-". duality of."r.C1·"': ·'"'~1: 52 148-49~ -and (I_Hd S:::·I~'I~~'""!~.D. 4! -46 'v. poetry: "·'~'\:-.dricl\.rm:'dit'v.kL 86 n. 12.. on n.'~"~~1. Edgar. i12..:>·~. 2._1.. J J-l voice. xviii. 125-30. . 12..ega y GClssel. J 35.71<+~ry. 71-72.dicin!':. l44...yf:!:!-'~('-. ~1.:t'. Le.rnl. r~. Erwin. as sign) 135-40 54 97-98. 82.l:=:m: Solger.'.4..l r:. also art 1(1:\ 119 POUH(L ElnL 54. "c.-. Porphyrv. . 10 n.k Jacques....l'rt~~ 10. 5chcl~:i1. 67·-69-.~n·1 IOg.. ·" '::. :41-5J~ and tTF1~n·!::. 92. Schlegel.g)". 125<~O. S. See Freud.'h('~~.··~ilL and lO\.?' h.i~Fh): and poetry. I J. Uf"f. 23~25.cr. . Jose. and io\/e poetry. and love. 152~5:i Saxl. Jean. 32. 14 H. 12730: '.'1!Y. 8fl ". ami h":'. and love.·I. . 36.3 149. (das C'''."1Ch._I~ ·i·::. and spirit. J. 32.rr'. .:'~:'Cc.:. spirit: unci 95-96.ation.1."~~·l':"""'· 129 and dream. 125·JO. 55 See writing.:'-:-rL Hernan de. 114.i 5. 14 p:~::::.~. 92 701·('1 . 3L 3"1.. 84'. IOI. xv-xvi: end sign. 152. 47. 104-5: ami sign.:. Vir gil.. and :n2di('·'c! poetry. 92-93. '1"'! """"". . !49 \\'~~rburg.~F1~11"~~ '\\'i:l~.·.'iela Tl_~o~':-:n...d~ ~-ncd "-ipc rncdieva]: xvi xvixvi: 11.:'·l~:'i~.':c·. and :'·'_'~d:~·\. rL l17 143. 65 VDs8. xvii. and Im':~'F~'1~ (! ~_~.". ~1. ~H. 27 n. and :~r~<::n-ll(-:'.H).Bruno . and f'''''.. l l . ]03 2. 144 xvi . 4. 137~ j39. 76·77. 50. gB-89 n.. Cino da.~. .~'-c FhT!..:::. and ..fCiD reftecrhm on. .-l!'. Aby. J'25~27: "nd V1C:'. 120 and '.16 Vif~_na..ri.t~~d~~-i~Y·.cJ-:.~ Set' also Pythagoras) :n' j 1"14 V'i! n: nrr of C~\~1.:. 14 n. L 122 n. 135 . 143-44. cf1tici. 103 Or. See also Freud. 102·3.'Iroust. 2 . 64. 1 r·mhll:.\62 """c"c".:'c".'/.T1d . love.ti'~ IY>:-rg.f.'.:hc.l"E~y:_t) xv.'.r. S'['e also spirit Poe.<".. 79 ·-~i·'.5-21.·9. Leo. Hnd L E"i'\CiT1Gry. Pie!" della...58 O.. 13. :3 :)"n'h(~[:.-_:·~..lr:.rnrL'.. .-..!r·.h... 94~ and Eros.'hndF1~)'.!-C-.ry. 102-10: tbeory of'.~("11-:~j:O: /\.. 137. "'''.hn.. 83.:-. Si. Nielz". 102··10. (. J I )29-30 Roman de hi Nose.T:T':~.s_c 73) (}:y.y._': ·il~. Rohert) '74.~. ~!Kt r'" c!_rd r'h:·:nt::'::_r. }4)~47..27-28 Petrarch.·\"':·d. (.1.93·94. 74. 87 n. 12. S1. 65.1.'E pOE~ry" '/3-89.. 24. 16. Marcel. 'Giorgio.N-:~rdj. Fritz. 120-21. 61 341 55 and ~-j1t!~r~('Jl- lhsis.'-he): and :.). and j55··57. 64. 147.34 (~"".t1sh~:::m.1"~1~.~.. 1.Friedrich.102. 116. 104-9. 54 99 135-MJ. Oedipus: ~!. 120 -i.~. 148 ! 52-5~L See a/so..'c. 63. ".fir:~1!i('n: and 50. 14 n.. :". :~nd !nC' .-:~ Spilzer.2. '''''':.. 116 . 78·8!.52 Flic.J!..'. )ii.. ~~.. '·'.

-i '''/u!urne Theory ()/th(~' A.{].":'"~"7(:1·J~nble n._J.~'~-'.-k:.r:).]'.t::'"".~~.'!nr. Jean-Pr.. i!4ale B(Jdir?s: Psvc': .. T'hough. The ((>/011.< Vc"hnTF:' 26 ..) [0.ir rev.:.i\Tarrar{vfs./f'!~j'!'1"'::' 8. rUprah.~ 'The Po: ".Y·~·~rh. Malek A l1(ml(. Peter S'..A. Bodie" 20.i\'1..~~.'·T .<ni.<I.:-.!(..'.i" an .Essays in the Rhetoric .~~.n '.·')!J-::.\Tk·it ivlale Fl!nto·. i\Jicc rcager l(f~I'h-n~ Reproduction: Frcnrb. : V.r.dir11. F l.:._ Gunr~'~. Georges 1 :l Tzvetun Volume Volume! Volume 1" Visions of Excess: Stlcc!eri 1Friting.liegury: /?.."·.~T l' "" '~~('r-' ..!r. The Potitiral ' F>cn':'J1.!s Poetics 7.L·-.u·bert .y(\t'.!~ .:i \/{:l1Jn~S 17. 1927J939 Principl> p~oss Ch·~1·~'·t=CL~~ .!J(:!.1r)""":f'.::'.dt:ggc.."._. (1odz]ch.(' 9.-.1".} U::LOS E. Andrzej .\" Hetcroiogies: F":":' 'T(Se on the Other Vc·1~lin"':. 60 Ed'i~·."c·".~'l ~ . C\:.'.:Condit/fnc Cr.~.ceMartin 2nd ed.T and Literavv J ~ni.L~.Yand ShrlfJ1ioll. . Peter BHrg..tNJ r:-. '.1n~i)Lr.~1 (0 P.~''':':1~h. : r .: Dr: "·. Edited by .ngand Other' Essays \iolurne Volume ! 4.:~'.'·lC('.~ Ly()j.. Denis Hollier The Politics 0/ Pto_~'e: Essoy on 5'arlre Volum« 34. Hegel.'Jir's \fohm.1 Harem VO. \ "c:o.'Tji On Testuol l.':·ti· .--+.i. Kleus Thf._r. ''''''tiFf E>'(·(':""·'TS il"hh the New French.f'.. 11:>...'...·:(~.S'!or.1mnc 23.".. o] (he Alc)dern Dromo p(.'n:.~~(-!. . i\:jikh:.~ij n. !6. ·">F·(. Helene Cixl)u" and Catherine Clem 'n! The Newly [lorn }\.~:~:·D.'· Volu.<ondi \h_'dunlf: 27. Klaus 'Ihewclci: Male FIIJJimip.r-. Beside Itsel]: On r\C:·.~o:..<-J_~:oc" '":./ ·(. 'JOtume Volume (.strurtion in /uncrica \/l:-J.' "V\:I~Fn~'in~J:l C:7din:.th 'k~~~p-~~ P~lulde Ivlan. {!coffre:/ Hartman The t Y··-. of p~·-!.4 es.d . In!pi/pc/I/()/ Lfle Fascisn». Djchd '[(adir Questing Fictions: ~/ch. Paul de Man finnrl~1/)\'5 end ?·~'l.<·!'c1!~.. 'The Case of English Pr.Y (?(lHusic \)"c:-l ~.J!'!1 ('" I ."'. nnd '\'l~~n:-..""::..It..I)'. e 33. TZ\'E!:2o.tion and i.. fv"iiche.Al.:J-vi~k Phi.d{i.._.1f~T5.\·j(-'~·l ._'~.')' Volume 29.~~>:~·o r':~:'o:r.Ul1C Floods.':i5 ojT'::'.3 l.h.·1 ojLuropean A Lepor: on Knowledge Literature of The }(fh' V(_'.. }-[r:'. .~i::ht. ""~I' '0:. Jose Antonio Srr'l('tu'-p Marava!l CU!tUr"(~ (?f'tlw Baroque: Analysi.1 weber hr'·-~:'~(. F in ':~ '1' :-:_...:...I!"p: and ..~-ary Criticism j .. I.~.:~l~rti(·Experience ~!')jL' Cr: \'r 1.:~.~..\:"1 by /\rac Critics: . FlopP Theor» (fnd History of Folklore ..'nrd and Jeail~LDup 'rhn~:<":~.'. /\'n: ..rTF': 32.'·TI? and Volume 28."Y of the B/ c J~.' J.'.qf' 30_ Gilles Deleuze and F0ti.~ Just (}orning 19.' . Terror Volume 22.1 Bakhfi n: The i Bataillc qr Fiction l .?::..:h1"~Pt'i·'/1/e..~.v Volurne 25.rru::· Robcrt 36.i: Seduction and the Potver TodortHI [1.'~ AU{Jli iVa ise .'~(:.:.The Rcsisianc .tf"T and "\l('~l'TT\C 10 Theorv Latin America ~s· '/JtJJil.:r:~' "L."·c~Js GCT':(>?~!(~F.?. Edited by John Fekete The S!nwiurai..:!.I ~L Thomas G.:' 1.>~:f'~"'i·!1y'.(/arde · }-{r:n~·~..n2thnn Arac Politic: E>::-phc. J~l)' (>pi:)o Framed .l de.r':\'~.s-:-~·'7(~d('. Pai·'e·! Th« Poetics of Plot . \Vlnd.~:::....110)."'~ K(~fka· I(~·...dJPti(' oj l?ecepti0i. Eridl .'"{" -. \/ohnne. YC'''F:i:· volume 21.Dcc(/I!./zing ihe '/ VVllilE.. Jp~:ll""1'r.i0 1.i:l~r(l.:'(.l.)" of a Histarica! Volume 24.·.5 Fe!:{~~r S. In(:qlle."1:.!~:'<-'~l~'h : Scenes [ron: the "I..'r?J a )liinor ....t:~:~~~:: /J'.Fi{Jld(Jr/in.

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