Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Theory 4 (Email 8)

Hi Samantha

   I anticipate your presentation with high expectations!  A terrific move and illustrates a feature of our craft as HEUretics.  Lacan is excessively allusive in his remarks.  The Seminar proper is highly organized, as by now your notes probably have shown you:  it builds systematically, and every move is calculated in the manner of an HBO dramatic series, drawing out the exposition to sustain the  required number of installments.  At the same time, you also may have been frustrated a few times by the disparity in context provided:  Lacan devotes more attention to some examples than to others.  His lecture style is famous as a deliberate attempt to reproduce at least a simulacrum of chimney sweeping for his university audience, to force them to some extent to bring to bear the auditory  skill of listening with  "the third ear" (and this effect no doubt is what Adam responded to with the jazz gambit). 
  It often (if not always) is beneficial to pursue Lacan's allusions beyond what he provides himself, especially if the example is associated with explanation of an aspect of the overall theory that  especially interests you, perhaps to isolate in one of your inventory posts.  For example, in discussing linear perspective, and the grid artists used to achieve the effect (mimesis) -- a Cartesian grid, of course, and the classic 9 square layout is available as an overlay in your iPhone today (to help get the "best" composition).  As linear perspective evolved into the baroque, leading to anamorphic and other "distorting" effects, Albrecht Dürer made an engraving, quite famous, showing the artist looking through the screen "trellis" grid at the model.  The model is a woman stretched out on the table, viewed from an "up-skirt" angle -- concerned with effects of foreshortening no doubt.  But Lacan in his mischievous way no doubt intended us to notice this pruient aspect of the scene.  He does not explain, but drops the reference in for those "who  have ears" (as Jesus said regarding his parables). 

  Same with Viridiana.  Your detour into the details of this example are suggestive, provocative, useful. 

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