Download Claustrophilia: The Erotics of Enclosure in Medieval by Cary Howie PDF

By Cary Howie

If ours is a cultural second intensely serious about enclosed space--the compartments of our offices, the confessionals of our church buildings, the bedrooms of truth tv, and the entire a variety of closets we pop out of and retreat into--our fascination isn't totally new. This publication argues that the non secular literature of the overdue heart a while articulates with nice subtlety and vividness the level to which all being is to some degree enclosed being. In different phrases, we're all within the closet, and that would be an exceptional factor. via prolonged readings of English, French, and Italian writers of the 13th and fourteenth centuries, Claustrophilia exhibits that medieval enclosures truly make room for wishes and groups poetics of natural openness could exclude. whilst God holds and confines, revelation is in the limits and never past them. for that reason, this booklet says, love your closet; it's only via what holds and defines us that we will comprehend and love the area.

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Extra info for Claustrophilia: The Erotics of Enclosure in Medieval Literature (New Middle Ages)

Example text

The being of man is an unsettled being which all expression unsettles” (L’être de l’homme est un être défixé. Toute expression le défixe);28 “man is half-open being” (l’homme est l’être entr’ouvert):29 in observations such as these, Bachelard seems to attribute the same degree of constitutive complexity and oscillation to the human that Heidegger attributes to the work of art. In both cases, it is a question of the ultimately “half-open” dialectic of disclosure (here, “expression”) and enclosure.

Bachelard, in fact, asserts that “language bears within itself the dialectics of open and closed. Through meaning it encloses, while through poetic expression it opens up” (le langage porte en soi la dialectique de l’ouvert et du fermé. 39 Celan “opens up” the hut only to show its resistance to being disclosed: its sensible, but ultimately senseless, refusal of any gaze that would want to penetrate its surface in search of either a formal or a meaning-based answer. In this way (and I hazard this 22 CLAUSTROPHILIA reading in its inevitable misunderstanding) Heidegger’s hut is nowhere Celan can be inside; there is no possibility of cohabitation.

70 The Greek temple, like Iphigeneia’s vanishing point, marks the place at which presence is offered and withdrawn: in the first case, it is an instance of the earth’s material ambivalence, in which Iphigeneia’s liturgy intervenes; in the second, it is the miraculous as just such an intervention, revealing the participative link between each organ of sight and the sensible. To light up Iphigeneia’s body with painfully extenuated eyes is, however, to take a risk. The body might vanish: and is this necessarily preferable to her corpse, her body reduced to an immanent (which is to say: an empty) shell?

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