Body work : objects of desire in modern narrative / Peter Brooks
E-books | Harvard University Press | 1993
1 online resource (xiv, 325 pages) : illustrations
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Includes bibliographical references (pages 289-318) and index.
Preface -- Narrative and the body -- Invasions of privacy: the body in the novel -- Marking out the modern body: the French revolution and Balzac -- The body in the field of vision -- Nana at last unveil'd? Problems of the modern nude -- Gauguin's Tahitian body -- What is a monster? (according to Frankenstein) -- Talking bodies, delicate vessels -- Transgressive bodies.
Print version record.
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The desire to know the body is a powerful dynamic of storytelling in all its forms. Peter Brooks argues that modern narrative is intent on uncovering the body in order to expose a truth that must be written in the flesh. In a book that ranges widely through literature and painting, Brooks shows how the imagination strives to bring the body into language and to write stories on the body. From Rousseau, Balzac, Mary Shelley, and Flaubert, to George Eliot, Zola, Henry James, and Marguerite Duras, from Manet and Gauguin to Mapplethorpe, writers and artists have returned in fascination to the body the inescapable other of the spirit. Brooks's deep understanding of psychoanalysis informs his demonstration of how the "epistemophilic urge"--The desire to know - guides fictional plots and our reading of them. The novel is so singularly powerful an art form because it plays on our deepest yearnings, including the desire to penetrate the most private of realms. The body that interests Brooks most is defined radically by its sexuality. It is the sexual body that furnishes the building blocks of symbolization, eventually of language itself - which then takes us away from the body. Yet mind and language need to recover the body, as an other realm that is primary to their very definition. In modern art and literature, the body as object of curiosity has been predominantly that of a woman. Brooks shows how and why the female body has become the field upon which the aspirations, anxieties, and contradictions of a whole society are played out. And he suggests how writers and artists have found in the woman's body the dynamic principle of their storytelling, its motor force
Electronic reproduction. [Place of publication not identified] : HathiTrust Digital Library, 2010. MiAaHDL
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Print version: Brooks, Peter, 1938- Body work. Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1993 9780674077256 (DLC) 92034163 (OCoLC)26807912
9780674028869 (electronic bk.)
0674028864 (electronic bk.)
0674077253 (acid-free paper ; pbk.)
0674077245 (acid-free paper)
9780674077256 (acid-free paper ; pbk.)