JAMES ELKINS THE OBJECT STARES BACK PDF

JAMES ELKINS THE OBJECT STARES BACK PDF

Elkins asks about objects that are too violent, too sexually charged, or too beautiful to look at directly. When we see a naked body, we either stare lasciviously or. For the art historian James Elkins, there is no such thing as “just looking. inconsistent, and undependable, he says in The Object Stares Back. In Elkins’s view, even the simplest, most reductive statement that can be made about seeing, “the beholder looks at the object,” is charged with.

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Return to Book Page. The Object Stares Back: On the Nature of Seeing by James Elkins. Paperbackpages. Published July 15th by Mariner Books first published To see what your friends thought of this book, starrs sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Object Stares Backplease sign up.

The Object Stares Back

This stared contains spoilers… view spoiler jamess and theatricality engage the discourses of James Elkins paperback. Beyond these experiences, art remains the cynosure of a story in a “frozen condition” Hegel Does the viewer in the expediency of the vista become the author? See 1 question about The Object Stares Back…. Lists with This Book. Jun 19, Jaclyn rated it really liked it. Fascinating book about the act of seeing and how it affects both the object seen and the one seeing.

Very philosophical at parts, and he had some interesting points about how opting not to see i. Lots objecg digest and I think I would have enjoyed this book best in a university class, with a professor parsing the ideas down for us, and classmates bouncing insights off each other.

Jan 19, Patricia rated it did not like it Shelves: There are no words for how much I disliked this book. Apr 04, Sam rated it really liked it Shelves: This is an interesting book about the physical and mental elements that comprise human sight.

The author, with various examples from across the world and centuries, illustrates how, even though it seems complete and seamless, our view of the world is fragmented and incomplete. He goes into different reasons for this fragmentation, some physical and some social.

The chapter on blindness didn’t seem so well done to me–he more talks about how normal sight really incorporates blindness into itself This is an interesting book about the physical and mental elements that comprise human sight.

The chapter on blindness didn’t seem so well done to me–he more talks about how normal sight really incorporates blindness into itself than about perceiving the world as a blind person this disappointed me. Best read in chunks, this is worth checking out if you want to muse about perception and reality.

Nov 27, Trinster00gmail. A chapter of this book was required reading for a college class I was taking. After finishing that chapter, I wanted more so I bought the book and read its entirety. Simply put, this book is incredible, it makes you think about all the vision you have and all that you take for granted.

I actually started using this book in my class when I started teaching an intro college course to art history and my students always respond positively to this book. Oct 23, Elisha rated it liked it. It was interesting and there are a few good ideas to think over, but it was a struggle. I did have fun picking out the odd quotes and sharing them with my friends. Like chimpanzees masturbating to porn or getting turned on by drawing.

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Worth the effort and I’ll probably get more use out of reading it than I realize right now. Apr 20, Kevin rated it really liked it Shelves: It’s beautifully but densely written and I confess I didn’t work as hard at understanding the book as it merited. I decided to read it with the attitude that if I took away two or three ideas it would be worth my time. The book is about how we see, seeing as a selective act for example when we walk into a room to actually see anything we have to not see everything around itseeing as an aggressive act, as a reductive act.

How people in different cultures see; a member of a traditional hunting culture would look at an area of forest and see all sorts of information about animal movements that would be unavailable to me. As fascinating as this book is, there are times when I quibbled with the author’s reading of certain acts.

For example, he writes that something that catches your eye is an active participant in the act of your looking. I have trouble assigning agency in the absence of intention, particularly when you’re talking about an inanimate object.

The book was full of fascinating tidbits of information. For example, I had no idea there was a condition called achromotopsia, an inability to see color. It’s different from colorblindness, which just affects a person’s ability to se red and green. People with achromotopsia can’t see any colors. They don’t even understand the concept of color.

A book well worth your time If you’re remotely interested.

But I do wish I had read it with a book group or a class to thrash out some of the ideas in conversation. Apr 24, Ben rated it really liked it.

Philosopher Immanuel Levinas in arguing against the primacy of “being” in favor of ethics was once asked, “Attention to the other, can it be taught? Elkins is clear and Philosopher Immanuel Levinas in arguing against the primacy of “being” in favor of ethics was once asked, “Attention to the other, can it be taught?

Elkins is clear and direct in his writing, and his arguments range far outside the field of art history and theory, moving quite effortlessly into psychology, philosophy, science, and metaphysics.

The Object Stares Back: On the Nature of Seeing – James Elkins – Google Books

He has a true gift for sifting through the most ephemeral limits of perception and describing in detail what he feels. Here, in his own words, is the crux of his argument: My principle argument has been that vision is objetc incomplete and uncontrollable because it is used to shape our sense of what we are. Objects molt and alter in accord with what we need them to be, and we change ourselves by the mere act of seeing.

His discussion of jamfs meaning and even language we find writ in the human face is powerful.

The Object Stares Back: On the Nature of Seeing by James Elkins

And the essay discussing the latent desires of objects is radical and absorbing. I would recommend this book to poets, artists, and even priests Sep 05, Jesse rated it really liked it Shelves: I was intrigued to find an art historian discussing the concept and implications of seeing. This book gave me lots to think about. In the opening paragraph of his Introduction, Elkins proposes a generic assumption about using our eyes: We just point our eyes where we want them to go, and gather in whatever there is to see.

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Nothing could be less in need of explanation. The world is flooded with light, and everything is available to b I was intrigued to find an art historian discussing the concept and implications of seeing.

The world is flooded with light, and everything is available to be seen. We can see people, pictures, landscapes, and whatever else we need to see, and with the help of science we can see galaxies and viruses and the insides of our own bodies.

Seeing does not interfere with the world or take anything from it, and it does not hurt or damage anything. Seeing is detached and efficient and rational. Unlike the stomach or the heart, eyes are our own to command: It would have been interesting to see this question explore gendered seeing more in depth.

I also found good insights in the discussion of what we can’t see and the description of drawing as a manifestation of blindness or partial blindness. Jan 16, Abner Rosenweig rated it really liked it. Elkins provides a sensitive, literate inquiry. By paying careful attention to language, he almost transcends the linear logic of prose to get at the complex, ambiguous nature of seeing. Sometimes he writes in a free, stream-of-consciousness way, and his musings can become oddly tangential, but he’s always honest, humble, and sincere, and often he pierces through the obvious to capture the subtle ineffability of his subject.

Some of the most stimulating parts of the book for me were the discussio Elkins provides a sensitive, literate inquiry.

Some of the most stimulating parts of the book for me were the discussion of the power of objects; the idea of the visual field as containing complex topographies that attract and repel a viewer’s attention; the inextricable connection between seeing and blindness; and, the centrality of the ovject and the face in human vision.

Although the process of seeing is a mystery whose complexity will remain forever unfathomable, Elkins helps readers to enter into the mystery and to make us more aware of the vast beauty, subtlety, and complexity that we often fail to see in the world around us.

Jul 13, Dave-O rated it it was amazing. Elkins’ thoughts on sight and seeing is a multifaceted deconstruction on how we view and are viewed by objects we encounter.

It’s a subject that we take for granted and draw large assumptions about. Elkins proposes seeing as a metaphor for the life cycle: Tied together with many personal anecdotes with flowing use of language, the book is Elkins’ thoughts on sight backk seeing is a multifaceted deconstruction on how we view and are viewed by objects we encounter. Tied together with many personal anecdotes with flowing use of language, the book is an insight for those interested in bck analysis of idea, communication, and sight.

May 04, Z rated it it was amazing. I really enjoyed it. I am very happy I stumbled across it at that book sale at the Oglethorpe library. I suggest it to anyone who might enjoy exploring the links between thought and vision and other such things. Certain parts of it hit me more than others.