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Maria Cohut. Simulacrum: an image or representation of someone or something an unsatisfactory imitation or substitute Oxford Dictionaries Online. Oxford.

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Presentation on theme: "Maria Cohut. Simulacrum: an image or representation of someone or something an unsatisfactory imitation or substitute Oxford Dictionaries Online. Oxford."— Presentation transcript:

1 Maria Cohut

2 Simulacrum: an image or representation of someone or something an unsatisfactory imitation or substitute Oxford Dictionaries Online. Oxford University Press. n.d. Web. 2 Sept. 2012 anthropomorphic physical representation

3 Artificial likeness (effigy, icon, portrait) Double of likeness (Theodore, Matilda, Antonia) Original figure (Alfonso, Madonna, Matilda)

4 [T]rauma curiously wavers between inner and outer worlds (16) Chrysochou, Panayiota, The Si(eye)ght of Trauma: Oedipal Wounds, Tragic Visions, and Averted Gazes from the Time of Sophocles to the Twenty-First Century, Journal of Literature and Trauma Studies, vol 1, no 1, spring 2012 (pp 15-26)

5 Kneeling knight effigy, Tewkesbury Abbey http://www.tewkesburyabbey.org.uk/floorplan The erotic intention that unleashes the melancholic disorder presents itself as that which would possess and touch what ought merely to be the object of contemplation, and the tragic insanity of the saturnine temperament thus finds its root in the intimate contradiction of a gesture that would embrace the Unobtainable. (17-18) Agamben, Giorgio. Stanzas – Word and Phantasm in Western Culture, trans. Ronald L. Martinez (Minneapolis; London: University of Minnesota Press, 1993)

6 I know the adoration with which I look at that picture is uncommon – but I am not in love with a coloured pannel. The character of that virtuous prince, the veneration with which my mother has inspired me for his memory, the orisons which I know not why she has enjoined me to pour fourth at his tomb, all have concurred to persuade me that somehow or other my destiny is linked to something relating to him. (41) Walpole, Horace. The Castle of Otranto – A Gothic Story, ed. W.S. Lewis (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996)

7 [S]ubstantive meaning is created through the chain of verbal and nonlinguistic signifiers that instantiate the mediation between self and other, object and idea. When this does not happen there is a failure in translation, a failure to assimilate the signifiers of ones history into a unifying and cohesive narrative. I use translation deliberately here. A failure in translation is what happens when the nonlinguistic signifier as image fails to bind itself to a signified (meaning/ concept) or signifieds. (21) Chrysochou, Panayiota, The Si(eye)ght of Trauma: Oedipal Wounds, Tragic Visions, and Averted Gazes from the Time of Sophocles to the Twenty-First Century, Journal of Literature and Trauma Studies, vol 1, no 1, spring 2012 (pp 15-26)

8 The Gothic genre tends to gravitate around issues concerning the family structure – at once cognitive model and material reality – [which] incarnates the laws fundamental to our culture and our selves; laws that also govern our thinking about property, morality, social behaviour, and even metaphysics. (12) Williams, Anne. Art of Darkness – A Poetics of Gothic (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1995)

9 Theodores grief was too fresh to admit the thought of another love; and it was not till after frequent discourses with Isabella, of his dear Matilda, that he was persuaded he could know no happiness but in the society of one with whom he could forever indulge the melancholy that had taken possession of his soul. (115) Walpole, Horace. The Castle of Otranto – A Gothic Story, ed. W.S. Lewis (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996) [T]he withdrawal of melancholic libido has no other purpose than to make viable an appropriation in a situation in which none is really possible. (20) Agamben, Giorgio. Stanzas – Word and Phantasm in Western Culture, trans. Ronald L. Martinez (Minneapolis; London: University of Minnesota Press, 1993)

10 Sandro Botticelli, Madonna with Child (detail) This for two years had been the Object of his increasing wonder and adoration. (40) Oh! If such a Creature existed, and existed but for me! Were I permitted to [...] press with my lips the treasures of that snowy bosom! Gracious God, should I then resist the temptation? (41) Lewis, Matthew. The Monk, ed. Howard Anderson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008)

11 [M]aternity turns out to be [a] [...] fantasy of a lost continent: what is involved [...] is not so much an idealized primitive mother as [...] an idealization of primary narcissism. (133) Kristeva, Julia. Stabat Mater, trans. Arthur Goldhammer, Poetics Today, vol. 6, no. 1/2, The Female Body in Western Culture: Semiotic Perspectives, 1985 (pp 133- 152)

12 It is only when Matilda discards submission that she, as the double of the Madonna portrait, no longer satisfies. (47) When Matilda transgresses the boundary of ideal, feminine behaviour and becomes masterful, she no longer doubles the Madonna portrait and consequently no longer mirrors Ambrosios desires. (47) Wright, Angela. European disruptions of the idealized woman: Matthew Lewiss The Monk and the Marquis de Sades La Nouvelle Justine. European Gothic – A Spirited Exchange 1760-1960, ed. Avril Horner (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2002)

13 Deliberately, Lewis compares [Antonia] to a statue, not of the Virgin nor of a saint but of the pagan goddess of love. (133) Ellis, Kate Ferguson. The Contested Castle – Gothic Novels and the Subversion of Domestic Ideology (Urbana & Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1989) By dying, a beautiful Woman serves as the motive for the creation of an art work and as its object of representation. As a deanimated body, she can also become an art object or be compared with one. (71) Bronfen, Elisabeth. Over Her Dead Body – Death, Femininity and the Aesthetic (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1992) Clemente Susini, Anatomical Venus (wax, human hair, pearls, rosewood) ca 1790, Florence


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