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Pierre Klossowski [Hardcover]

Anthony Spira , Sarah Wilson
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

30 Sep 2006
This book examines the many facets of the work of Pierre Klossowski (1905-2001). Klossowski first established himself as a writer and was known and admired by peers such as Bataille, Blanchot, Gide, Foucault, Deleuze and Lacan. But in 1972 he gave up writing to devote himself to his 'mutism': painting made up of large coloured drawings. In time he became as famous a painter as he had been a writer and theorist. Klossowski now has two separate groups of commentators: those concerned with his writings and those with his painting, with little overlap between the two. Here, this separation is explicitly removed. Klossowski's entire oeuvre revolved around the concept of the gaze. Rarely has the gaze been so radically interpreted - as an active, mobile, evanescent object that breaks down the connections between representation and the visible. How is one to see the invisible divinity? This question plagued Klossowski, and he displaced it onto pornographic rituals. The pantomime of spirits is the scene, fixed in silence, where bodies meet - a knotting of desiring body and dogmatic theology. A creator of simulacra, Klossowski attempted to exorcise the 'obsessive constraint of the phantasm' that subjugated him in all these scenes. This title is translated from the French by Adrian Price in collaboration with Pamela King.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Hatje Cantz Pub (30 Sep 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3775717919
  • ISBN-13: 978-3775717915
  • Product Dimensions: 28.4 x 23.8 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,439,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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About the Author

Herve Castanet is a psychoanalyst and professor of psychoanalysis in Marseille, France. He is a member of the Ecole de la Cause freudienne and the World Association of Psychoanalysis, as well as the author of eighteen books, notably on the gaze, perversion and the relationship between the arts and psychoanalysis. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Dr. R. Brandon TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Pierre Klossowski was the elder brother of Balthazar Klossowski, better known as the artist Balthus. Both boys were from artistic parents and developed differing careers in the arts themselves. Much of Pierre's early output was concerned with translating novels and philosophical works from German into French, the language of the adopted country of their parents. Pierre began writing mildly erotic novels and also began drawing black and white pencil images to illustrate the text, the first being published in 1953 when Klossowski was 48 years old. It was only in 1972 that Pierre Klossowski, at the age of 67 years, began to write and translate less in order to concentrate on drawing with coloured pencil, many of his images feature a likeness of his wife, Denise.
This catalogue, published to accompany an exhibition of Klossowski's work at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, in the autumn of 2006, contains examples of his black and white drawings dating from the 1950s and colour pencil work from the 1970s and 80s. A number of photographs from Klossowski's illustrated erotic novel, `La Monnaie vivante', published in 1970 are also included. The title literally means, `Living Currency' and refers to this literary and philosophical essay about a Sadean republic in which women, boys and girls, are used as payment for pleasure. The writings of Sade and Nietzsche being a recurring theme in Klossowski's oeuvre. Klossowski wrote a highly regarded book on the philosophy of Nietzsche. Several photographs of the three dimensional resin figures that were produced to realise his drawings are also shown. In summary, the catalogue contains four essays, a series of plates, and then a very comprehensive list of works and an equally detailed chronology of the life and work of the author/artist.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
4.0 out of 5 stars Ah, yes, this has pictures 12 Jan 2011
By Bruce P. Barten - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Fig. 12 on page 23 shows a painting by Balthus (Les Beaux Jours, 1946-7) with a comment about latent sadism: "again the fireplace (site of childhood games) signifies burning desire and the rage to hurt." The book has 115 illustrations, 63 in colour. Prepared for an exhibition in Whitechapel Gallery, London, 20 September - 19 November 2006, the text is in English. A later edition with French or German selections may have been prepared for the continuation of the exhibition in Cologne and Paris. The chronology has some full-page pictures of Pierre Klossowski and Denise Marie Roberte Morin-Sinclaire, a war widow that he met in 1946 and married in 1947.

The ecumenical movement is mentioned in the midst of the years 1940 to 1946, when Pierre Klossowski is described as joining the Benedictines of Hautecombe, then spending three months with the Dominicans of La Leysse, where a Father told him: "Your way of speaking, of reasoning, is not very Christian, even less Catholic." Pierre joined a protestant movement, Cimade, in 1943, helping prisoners of war in 1943. In 1945, "He converts to Lutheranism but, as with Catholicism, renounces it." "On 17 April 1946, in a solemn ceremony, Pierre abjures heresy and becomes a Catholic priest."

His wedding was at Church of Saint-Sulpice, Paris, in 1947. In 1960, Roland Barthes was living with his mother in the street opposite. Pierre's mother is usually called Baladine in the chronology, after she had an exhibition of 17 paintings, 24 watercolours and drawings at the Kleine Gallery in Berlin on 5 May 1923. Nietzsche was a big influence on the intellectual climate that Pierre Klossowski became important in, but I did not consider his pictures fundamental for understanding anything about philosophy. Rarely have pictures been epiphanies for me. I was never a fan of movies that have photographs in this book. I was curious about how much I could learn. A few years ago I was impressed by a book which described France from 1918 to 1945 as an Age of Illusion. The death of Pierre Klossowski came on 12 August 2001 after a long life. He had been left blind by two strokes in 1998. Details like that sink in so slowly that I would not have noticed them in other books.
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