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The Body as a Parchment in Literature, Cinema and Painting
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Languages.
2014 (English)In: Bodies in Between: Corporeality and Visuality from Historical Avant-garde to Social Media Conference, 29-31 May 2014, 2014Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this paper, I will study examples from literature, cinema and painting where the human body appears—both metaphorically and literally—as a historical document. will start with Peter Greenaway’s film The Pillow Book from 1996, where the human skin is used as a surface for writing. Paula Willoquet-Maricondi claims that such a fusion between the written text and the human body is paradoxical, since the written text is rather a dissociation between language and the body. By moving from the oral to the written form, our language, once intimately linked to our bodies through the act of speaking, becomes an abstract code with an arbitrary connection to the world. Through this paradoxical fusion, the body becomes a reminder of the lost corporeality of language, but also of the mnemonic function of orality. The relation between the corporeality of language and memory is even clearer in two novels by Marie NDiaye and Patrick Chamoiseau. n Chamoiseau’s case, the characters’ bodies are sometimes described as “carnal memories,” almost as documents which can be read, similar to Greenaway’s case. But the connection to the human body is also a form of humanizing History, thus making it intelligible. Chamoiseau’s reference to a painting of a human body helps for instance the reader imagine the narrated event. A similar use of a painting is made in the film Barbara, directed by Christian Petzold in 2012. A Rembrandt painting of a corpse is discussed by two characters in such a way that the body appears as the symbol of reality beyond language. Finally, Ray Bradbury’s short story “The llustrated man” from 95 , adapted to the screen in 969 by Jack Smight, shows how the human skin can be used not only as a document about the past, but even about the future.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
Keyword [en]
intermediality, film
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
Humanities, French linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-34513OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-34513DiVA: diva2:720605
Conference
Bodies in Between: Corporeality and Visuality from Historical Avant-garde to Social Media, 29-31 May, 2014, Cluh-Napoca, Romania
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond
Available from: 2014-06-01 Created: 2014-06-01 Last updated: 2015-05-21Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf