[Milton-L] University of Toronto Quarterly - 83.3 Summer now available online

UTP Journals thawkic551 at rogers.com
Wed Nov 12 10:45:45 EST 2014

Now available online…


University of Toronto Quarterly - Volume 83, Number 3, Summer 2014 


This issue contains: 


Seeing in Plain Sight – Installations in Flight

Clark Lunberry   

Observing from on high what from below remains unseeable is discussed and
described in this article, examining specific instances in the writings of
the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, the novelist Marcel Proust, the
earthwork artist Robert Smithson, and the author’s own 2012 art installation
undertaken at the University of Toronto. In each case, an airplane offers a
staging ground for the imagining of a more expansive kind of sight: one
that, in the final account, may leave the one seeing caught and divided in
the lofty dream of panoramic perception. With such imagined flight, one
leaves the world while never having left it, living in its place a Hamletic
dream of elevation and escape that keeps one securely “bounded in a
nutshell…a king of infinite space.”  DOI: 10.3138/utq.83.3.606



The Actor Who Wasn’t There: Economies of Absence in Virtual Ecologies

Judith Roof         

Cinema machines have striven in increasingly elaborate ways to eliminate any
sense of the foundational absence of the cinematographic apparatus that
underwrites the wonder of its spectacle. Recent digital media technologies
play out the hoaxic economy of virtual lures offered by layered sound and
imaging apparatuses. The last fifteen years of filmic present absence or
absent presence result from a series of attempts to produce cinematically
the illusion of spatiotemporal presence when, by definition, nothing in the
cinema is actually “there” except resurrected light and sound wave patterns.
Deploying the spatial geometries of 3D mapping combined with mechanisms of
human sensory perception, these digital machines displace physiological
mechanisms of perception into the modes by which images and sound are
captured and transmitted. DOI: 10.3138/utq.83.3.625



« neither ». Spectres sonores de Samuel Beckett

Cosmin Popovici-Toma  

Explicitly problematizing the relationship between music and literature,
Samuel Beckett’s Words and Music and Cascando are exemplary instances of
intermediality, but only if we grasp this concept as a conceptual tool that
helps us better understand the spectrality and neutrality that lie at the
core of Beckett’s poetics. The encounter between music and literature in
these two radio plays is therefore a means of rendering paradoxically
audible a ghostly absence, an aesthetic “hauntology” (Derrida) that lies
neither here nor there. This unceasing hesitation nonetheless calls for a
decision beyond the neuter (Blanchot): language or music; this or that? Such
is the impossible task at play in Cascando and Words and Music, as well as
in the rest of Beckett’s œuvre: letting the neuter be while still shaping
(musical) movement. DOI: 10.3138/utq.83.3.645 



The Waves as Exploration of (An)aesthetic of Absence1

J. Hillis Miller      

Virginia Woolf’s The Waves demonstrates how an (an)aesthetic of absence
might be dramatized in a work of fiction. It presupposes a vast impersonal
memory bank that stores everything that has ever happened, every thought or
feeling of every person. This data bank, however, is absent, inaccessible to
direct experience. The thoughts and feelings it stores, moreover, are always
already turned into appropriate language, complete with figures of speech
for sensations and feelings that cannot be said literally. These vivid
memories are involuntary, to borrow a word from Henri Bergson’s memory
theory. They have been forgotten completely and suddenly “come to the top”
and begin re-enacting themselves as present occurrences in vivid detail
before the mind’s eye. All the characters in The Waves, to different degrees
and in different ways, are haunted with the sense of a secret absent centre
to which they are attached and that they glimpse but cannot reach. DOI:



Taken-Away to Mann’s Magic Mountain

Darcy Gauthier  

This article attends to things “taken-away” in Thomas Mann’s The Magic
Mountain (Der Zauberberg, 1924). I take my cue from Mann’s description the
novel’s own “diseased element”: its narrative time, out of which “something
has been taken-away, like the spring from a corrupted clock” (etwas
hinweggenommen gewesen wie die Feder einer verdorbenen Uhr), and I
extrapolate this to consider its relation to many other things taken-away in
and from the novel. I ask the question, what is lost and, more importantly,
produced in being taken-away? In order to develop this question, I rely on
insights from psychoanalysis (especially Lacanian) into the relationship
between lack and desire. I end with an attempt to historicize this by
questioning the politics of taken-awayness, especially in relation to the
First World War. DOI: 10.3138/utq.83.3.678



The Dodo in the Long Eighteenth Century: An Exploration of the Gray Ghost
Outside of the English Sentimental Eye

Charles Hoge     

This article examines the specific type of monster that developed in
eighteenth-century British culture arising from early attempts to
reconstruct the extinct dodo. Specifically, discussions about the absent
dodo took shape in early ornithological texts, where it was universally
depicted as a monster, a lumbering, clumsy, gluttonous animal whose survival
was unquestionably doomed by its ungainly morphology. This iteration of the
dodo was constructed in the absence of productive empirical information
about the “real” bird, largely from cultural prejudices and conjecture
extracted from studying old, inaccurate paintings. This reconstructed
monster-dodo shares little with the “real” dodo, about which we know only
from fragmentary seventeenth-century accounts by witnesses who actually saw
the living bird and recent studies drawn from its fossil record. This
article explores why English culture took the relative “blank slate” left by
this extinct bird and, contrary to emerging notions of sentimentality,
re-fashioned the dodo as a monster. DOI: 10.3138/utq.83.3.687



Listening for Lost Creeks: Recollecting Absence via Alberto Caeiro and Eirin

Isabel A. Moore                

This article traces the buried creeks of Toronto through Eirin Moure’s
Sheep’s Vigil by a Fervent Person, which translates and transports Alberto
Caeiro’s O Guardador de Rebanhos from rural Portugal to urban pastoral.
Undermining more recent attempts to resurrect or disinter the creeks lost
beneath the city grid, Moure’s and Pessoa/Caeiro’s anti-anaesthetic poetics
and plural persons promise neither the pathetic personification of urban
water, nor a problematic return to aural or lyric presence. Taken together,
their polyglot Sheep instead perform an adverse pastoralism, one that
recollects the potentially anaesthetic effects of aestheticizing creeks
(among other things) and unburies our poetic fallacies about Nature by
rendering them present as fetishes. DOI: 10.3138/utq.83.3.705



La double absence dans Talismano d’Abdelwahab Meddeb

Ourdia Djedid    

L’article examine le fonctionnement de la trace dans Talismano. Le roman
exhibe une écriture qui se déroule sur fond de double référence
intertextuelle; à la fois orientale et occidentale. Inscrivant sa filiation
dans les fragments d’un ici-ailleurs que le texte reconstruit, l’auteur
revisite les lieux de l’enfance et ceux de l’exil. Les bribes du passé se
greffent au présent et donnent lieu à différents parcours interprétatifs.
Telle est la lecture que le texte suggère dans un mouvement constant entre
l’impératif du temps vécu et l’imagination créatrice de son auteur.
L’absence, dont la trace est le signe, devient salutaire même dans
l’aliénation qu’elle engendre. Elle fonctionne comme une promesse de
recouvrement du soi au sein du texte même. Cette aspiration à l’absence du
personnage Meddebien s’apparente à un exil volontaire, à une recherche d’un
autre soi. DOI: 10.3138/utq.83.3.723



Derrida at Villette: (An)aesthetic of Space

Brendon Wocke               

In the early 1980s, Jacques Derrida, together with Peter Eisenman,
participated in the Paris Parc de La Villette project under the direction of
head architect Bernard Tschumi. Tasked with the production of a “garden,”
Derrida and Eisenman took their inspiration from the platonic concept of the
khôra. Ultimately six times over budget, the Derrida/Eisenman garden was not
included in the Parc de la Villette; the only record of the experiment being
Chora L Works, a collection of transcripts and essays documenting the
various meetings and exchanges between Eisenman, Tschumi, and Derrida. These
exchanges, read together with Derrida’s broader consideration of the khôra
(in particular) and of the trace (more generally), can be seen to form a
dialogue on the aesthetics of space. But this is not mere architectural
discussion or theory; Derrida’s implicit and explicit discussions of space
imply a particular textual and typographic practice that implicates works
such as Glas, The Post Card, and The Truth in Painting not to mention Chora
L Works itself. Through the columns of Glas, framed by the borders of The
Truth in Painting, the structural and literal holes of Chora L Works invite
the consideration of the Derridean architextual practice – from the
aesthetics of the textual space to the anesthetics of spatial text. DOI:



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