Comparative Literature | Studies in Comparative Literature: THE IMAGE IN ART AND PHILOSOPHY
C400 | 27536 | Prof. Eyal Peretz

MW 1:00-2:15
Meets w/ HON-H400

What is an image? What is the meaning and significance of this all
pervasive term that has occupied philosophy and religion, as well as
the life of the artists, for the last few millennia? It is this
question that will be at the center of this class. The status of the
image has always oscillated between being, in classical philosophy,
and to an extent in the Hebraic Bible, a block to real vision, that
which prevents us from seeing the truth, blinding us to its power,
or deceiving us away from it, and on the other hand being, mainly in
some Christian theological discussions of the nature of the image,
as well as in recent discussion in contemporary philosophy, a guide
to a better vision , a vision beyond everyday perception, a vision
of the real or of truth. We will try to examine these traditions of
writing about the image, as well as interpretations of the image as
embodied in artists ranging from Renaissance painters to
contemporary filmmakers. We will attempt through this trajectory to
understand what exactly is the image, and what is it that it can do
to our vision, how it effects our capacity to see.

Readings include, Plato, the Bible, theological writings on the
image, Derrida, Deleuze, Lyotard, Jean-Luc Marion, Cavell. Viewings
include painters from Caravaggio and Breugel to Vermeer, to
filmmakers such as Eisenstein, Bunuel, Hitchcock, and Brian De Palma.