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A Body of Vision

Representations of the Body in Recent Film and Poetry

R. Bruce Elder

 

$52.95 Hardcover, 408 pp.

ISBN13: 978-0-88920-276-4

Release Date: January 1998

Hardcover edition is out of print.  

Order online and receive a 25% discount

$42.95 Paper, 408 pp.

ISBN13: 978-0-88920-328-0

Release Date: October 1998

 

   

Book Description

What do images of the body, which recent poets and filmmakers have given us, tell us about ourselves, about the way we think and about the culture in which we live?

In his new book A Body of Vision, R. Bruce Elder situates contemporary poetic and cinematic body images in their cultural context.

Elder examines how recent artists have tried to recognize and to convey primordial forms of experiences. He proposes the daring thesis that in their efforts to do so, artists have resorted to gnostic models of consciousness. He argues that the attempt to convey these primordial modes of awareness demands a different conception of artistic meaning from any of those that currently dominate contemporary critical discussion. By reworking theories and speech in highly original ways, Elder formulates this new conception.

The works of Brakhage, Artaud, Schneeman, Cohen and others lie naked under Elder’s razor-sharp dissecting knife and he exposes the essence of their work, cutting deeply into the themes and theses from which the works are derived. His remarks on the gaps in contemporary critical practices will likely become the focus of much debate.

About R. Bruce Elder

Filmmaker, author and critic, R. Bruce Elder inspires and enjoys debate. His films have been exhibited internationally and his polemical piece, “The Cinema We Need”, remains one of the most discussed pieces of writing on Canadian film. Elder has also produced a forty-two-hour film cycle entitled The Book of All the Dead. In 2007 R. Bruce Elder received the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts.

Reviews

“Elder is undoubtedly one of the most stimulating thinkers I have ever encountered” (translated from the Italian).

— Antonio Bisaccia, author of Effetto Snow and art reviewer for Manifesto, Il Manifesto and Artleader

A Body of Vison is filled with vividly detailed readings of films that map the confused and exhilarating intersections of the body and the symbolic processes that surround and issue from it. Elder’s focus si tight, his resistance to the limits of realist representation powerful and convincing.”

Point of View

“The scope of this volume is truly astonishing.”

— M. Wayne Cunningham, Canadian Book Review Annual

“... each of the book’s principal parts is exemplary of the kind of criticism film studies needs and should have a great deal more of.”

— Bart Testa, , University of Toronto Quarterly

“Bruce Elder’s writing constitutes the greatest collection of wisdom on poetic cinema of any living human. Furthermore, his knowledge is so a propos to all the arts that it is a paradigm of aesthetics in general.”

— Stan Brakhage, October 1997