Elkins asks about objects that are too violent, too sexually charged, or too beautiful to look at directly. When we see a naked body, we either stare lasciviously or. For the art historian James Elkins, there is no such thing as “just looking. inconsistent, and undependable, he says in The Object Stares Back. In Elkins’s view, even the simplest, most reductive statement that can be made about seeing, “the beholder looks at the object,” is charged with.
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Open to the public. After finishing that chapter, I wanted more so I bought the book and read its entirety. Sometimes he is successful, such as in his discussions of animals’ protective camouflage.
It is difficult to understand. Lectures on Literature Fredson Bowers. Blindness is not the opposite of vision, but its constant companion, and even the foundation of seeing itself.
The Object Stares Back: On the Nature of Seeing by James Elkins
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Jan 16, Abner Rosenweig rated it really liked it. On the Nature of Seeing. Open to the public ; BF Feb 10, Anda rated it liked it Shelves: Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.
The object stares back : on the nature of seeing / James Elkins. – Version details – Trove
At first it appears that nothing could be easier than seeing. We just focus our eyes and take in whatever is before us. He tends to cling too closely to his familiar tableaux morts, the unmoving, fixed images of paintings and photographs. Some of the most stimulating parts of the book for me were the discussion of the power of objects; the idea of the visual field as containing complex topographies that attract and repel a viewer’s attention; the inextricable connection between seeing and blindness; and, the centrality of the body and the face in human vision.
When I first was reading this book I did not enjoy it and found it a little tedious. This question contains spoilers… view spoiler [Immersion and theatricality engage the discourses of James Elkins paperback.
Jan 10, Shawn Frey rated it really liked it. You also may like to try some of these bookshopswhich may or may not sell this item. The same is true of things that are dead or inert. Jan 10, Murray rated it liked it. Apr 10, Jenn rated it it was amazing. Nothing could be less in need of explanation. Refresh and try again. The book was full of fascinating tidbits of information. Public Private login e. Using drawings, paintings, diagrams, and photographs to illustrate his points, Elkins raises intriguing questions and offers astonishing perception about the nature of vision.
The Origins of Totalitarianism Hannah Arendt. People with achromotopsia can’t see any colors. I did have fun picking out the odd quotes and sharing them with my friends. By paying careful attention to language, he almost transcends the linear logic of prose to get at the complex, ambiguous nature of seeing.
The Sign of Jona Thomas Merton. Open Preview See a Problem?
An analysis on the impact and implications of seeing, the book is an incredibly interesting perspective on vision. Language English View all editions Prev Next edition 4 of 5. This is a book that questions the processes involved in seeing and understanding.
We can see people, pictures, landscapes, and whatever else we need to see, and with the help of science we can see galaxies and viruses and the obiect of our own bodies.
Though he forms his ideas from medical and psychological facts as well as much philosophy, John Elkins is frequently loftily intellectual in his writing in an incredibly thoughtful way. The Group Mary McCarthy. They don’t even understand the concept of color. Trivia About The Object Stares Elkins is to be commended for shedding as much light as he does and for elegantly abstaining from the temptations of academic jargon in a ceaselessly thought-provoking book.
Elkins is clear and Philosopher Immanuel Levinas in arguing against the primacy of “being” in favor of ethics was once asked, “Attention to the other, slkins it be taught? Every time I hear the phrase “Just looking” I think about this book. Visit our Beautiful Books page and find lovely books for kids, photography lovers and more.