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A Body of Vision

Representations of the Body in Recent Film and Poetry

By R. Bruce Elder
Subjects Film & Media, Art
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Paperback : 9780889203280, 408 pages, October 1998


Elder examines how artists such as Brakhage, Artaud, Schneemann, Cohen and others have tried to recognize and to convey primordial forms of experiences. 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. His remarks on the gaps in contemporary critical practices will likely become the focus of much debate.


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

- Antonio Bisaccia, author of Effetto Snow andart reviewer for Manifesto, Il Manifesto andArtleader

``. .. 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

``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 is tight, his resistance to the limits of realist representation powerful and convincing. ''

- Point of View

``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

``The scope of this volume is truly astonishing. ''

- M. Wayne Cunningham, Canadian Book Review Annual