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Caricature and anamorphosis
Alexander Bove

transformation of [a]‌ likeness,” as Kris puts it (192). Thus instead of mimesis or imitation, Kris sees at the heart of caricature a representational method analogous to that of wit and dreams according to Freud: “The psychologist has no difficulty in defining what the caricaturist has done. He is well acquainted with this double meaning, this transformation, ambiguity

in Spectral Dickens
A critical blindspot
Glyn White

Fiction, representation and mimesis Across all the following chapters the relationship between fiction and literary representation will be prominent. In order to shorten our discussion of this issue, I would like to summarise the limits of this relationship. All kinds of literary fiction take place between the opposing – but equally unreachable

in Reading the graphic surface
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Found Footage Cinema and the Horror of the Real
Neil McRobert

This article examines the post-millennial popularity of the found footage movie, in particular its engagement with the representational codes of non-fiction media. Whilst the majority of critical writings on found footage identify the 11 September attacks on the World Trade Centre as a key visual referent, they too often dwell on the literal re-enactment of the event. This article instead suggests that these films evoke fear by mimicking the aesthetic and formal properties of both mainstream news coverage and amateur recording. As such they create both ontological and epistemological confusion as to the reality of the events depicted. Rather than merely replicating the imagery of terror/ism, these films achieve their terrifying effects by mimicking the audiences media spectatorship of such crisis.

Gothic Studies
Feminist aesthetics, negativity and semblance
Ewa Plonowska Ziarek

3 Ewa Plonowska Ziarek Mimesis in black and white: feminist aesthetics, negativity and semblance As Sarah Worth suggests, despite well-established feminist work in literary criticism, film theory and art history, feminist aesthetics ‘is a relatively young discipline, dating from the early 1990s’, and thus still open to contestation and new formulations.1 In this context it might seem paradoxical that one of the founding texts of feminist aesthetics, Rita Felski’s Beyond Feminist Aesthetics: Feminist Literature and Social Change, proclaims its impossibility

in The new aestheticism
Open Access (free)
Brad Evans

the Other. The greater the universal claim to truth, the greater the violence needed to bring about its realisation. It is no coincidence that two competing entities in any conflict often resemble one another. Whether we elect to call this mimesis or dialectics, in the order of battle, the two entities need each other to create a unifying reciprocity that legitimates both in the violent struggle over meaning and truth. Sceptics may invariably either point to the apparent successes of liberal universalism in creating for a moment in history a semblance of peace, or

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
The affective politics of the early Frankfurt School

This book offers a unique and timely reading of the early Frankfurt School in response to the recent 'affective turn' within the arts and humanities. It revisits some of the founding tenets of critical theory in the context of the establishment of the Institute for Social Research in the early twentieth century. The book focuses on the work of Walter Benjamin, whose varied engagements with the subject of melancholia prove to be far more mobile and complex than traditional accounts. It also looks at how an affective politics underpins critical theory's engagement with the world of objects, exploring the affective politics of hope. Situating the affective turn and the new materialisms within a wider context of the 'post-critical', it explains how critical theory, in its originary form, is primarily associated with the work of the Frankfurt School. The book presents an analysis of Theodor Adorno's form of social critique and 'conscious unhappiness', that is, a wilful rejection of any privatized or individualized notion of happiness in favour of a militant and political discontent. A note on the timely reconstruction of early critical theory's own engagements with the object world via aesthetics and mimesis follows. The post-Cold War triumphalism of many on the right, accompanied by claims of the 'end of history', created a sense of fearlessness, righteousness, and unfettered optimism. The book notes how political realism has become the dominant paradigm, banishing utopian impulses and diminishing political hopes to the most myopic of visions.


Didi-Huberman and the image is an introduction to French art historian and philosopher Georges Didi-Huberman. With an enormous body of work spanning four decades, Didi-Huberman is considered one of the most innovative and influential critical thinkers writing in France today. In this monograph art historian Chari Larsson presents the first extensive English-language study of Didi-Huberman’s research on images. Placing Didi-Huberman’s project in relation to major historical and philosophical frameworks, this book shows not only how Didi-Huberman modifies dominant traditions, but also how the study of images is central to a new way of thinking about poststructuralist-inspired art history. This book explores the origins of Didi-Huberman’s project, arguing he has sought renewal by turning the discipline of art history on its axis, wresting it away from its founding ‘fathers’ such as Giorgio Vasari and Erwin Panofsky and instead reorganising it along the poststructuralist lines of Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida and Gilles Deleuze. An image is a form of representation, but what is the philosophical framework supporting it? Didi-Huberman takes up this question repeatedly over the course of his career.

The presence of the book in prose fiction

This book constructs a vocabulary for the literary study of graphic textual phenomena. It examines the typographic devices within a very particular context: that of the interpretation of prose fiction. The graphic surface of the page is a free two-dimensional space on which text appears either mechanically or consciously. As visual arrangements of printed text on the graphic surface, graphic devices can contribute to the process of reading, combining with the semantic content within the context which that text creates. The book first sets out to demonstrate both how and why the graphic surface has been neglected. It looks at the perception of the graphic surface during reading and how it may be obscured by other concerns or automatised until unnoticed. Then, the book examines some critical assumptions about the transformation of manuscript to novel and what our familiarity with the printed form of the book leads us to take for granted. It looks at theoretical approaches to the graphic surface, particularly those which see printed text as either an idealised sign-system or a representation of spoken language. The book further looks at how 'blindness' to the graphic surface, and particularly its mimetic usage, is reflected and perpetuated in literary criticism. It deals with the work of specific authors, their texts and the relevant critical background, before providing a concluding summary which touches on some of the implications of these analyses.

Objects, affects, mimesis
Simon Mussell

3 A feeling for things: objects, affects, mimesis And things, what is the correct attitude to adopt towards things? –​Samuel Beckett, The Unnameable Recent years have seen an explosion of scholarly interest in things. From the ‘new materialisms’ to ‘object-​oriented ontology’, from ‘thing theory’ to ‘actor-​ network theory’, much of contemporary thought is turning its attention to the world of objects. What are the reasons for this shift? One of the principal motivations behind the turn to objects is a reaction against the ‘cultural turn’ and its subject

in Critical theory and feeling
Patrick Duggan

traumatic. The trauma-event must be signified by the repetitive signifier of the trauma-symptom. Thought about in this way, there can be no denying the relationship between trauma and mimesis, for to remember the trauma-event as part of the trauma-symptom is to recreate/ restage that event imaginatively. This is, of course, in direct contradiction to the ‘impossibility’ of trauma’s representation, but it is perhaps time to move away from this slightly narrow understanding of representation and the subsequent reductive assumption about the ability of representational forms

in Trauma-tragedy