Caravaggio's Secrets (October Books) by Leo Bersani

By Leo Bersani

Many critics have explored the homoerotic message within the early pics of the baroque painter Michelangelo Caravaggio (1573-1610). In Caravaggio's secrets and techniques, Leo Bersani and Ulysse Dutoit emphasize in its place the impenetrability of those pix. the stress among erotic invitation and self-concealing retreat leads Bersani and Dutoit to finish that the curiosity of those works is of their illustration of an enigmatic handle that solicits intimacy which will block it with a mystery. Bersani and Dutoit provide a psychoanalytic examining of the enigmatic handle as beginning relatives grounded in paranoid fascination. They research Caravaggio's makes an attempt to maneuver past such kinfolk, his experiments with an area now not circumscribed by means of the mutual and paranoid, if erotically stimulating, fascination with imaginary secrets and techniques. In his most unique paintings, Caravaggio proposes a appreciably new mode of connectedness, a nonerotic sensuality proper to the main intriguing makes an attempt in our personal time to reconsider, even perhaps to reinvent, group.

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In the Boy with a Basket of Fruit, as well as in Caravaggio’s other early works, the address is at once transparent and enigmatic, a combination central to the seductive or erotic appeal of Caravaggio’s solitary male figures. The soliciting in the Fortune Teller is more ambiguous. By extending his hand, the young man is asking (or so it would seem) to be read; the gypsy presumably possesses his secrets, or his future. But rather than confidently search his palm, she spies on his face, as if looking there for the key to who he is.

The withheld being with which the other addresses us is the other’s desirability. To modify the way in which the human being is addressed would modify the relationality that constitutes the human as we know it. ” We raised this question in the context of Freud’s argument, especially in “Instincts and Their Vicissitudes” (1915), concerning the fundamental antagonism between the ego and the external world. ” 3 Within the Freudian scheme, we argued, the ego’s profound mistrust of the world can be “overcome” only by a narcissistic identification with the hated object, one that masochistically introjects that object.

These questions are, strictly speaking, unanswerable: there is no original version of the subject. The only way in which a painting could treat “the betrayal of Christ” mimetically would be to imitate compositional rules of imitation. The dependence of the one on the other can be seen in Alberti’s treatise On Painting. ” In historical or mythical painting, the spectator’s recognition obviously can’t depend on a comparison of the work with its model. ” Only by B       B     studying “how in fact things are seen”—how we see each thing in its particular space, in the relations among its several surfaces, and in the colors of those surfaces—will he be able to convince us of his powers of observation.

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