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The Forms of the Affects [Paperback]

Eugenie Brinkema

Price: 15.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

25 May 2014
What is the relationship between a cinematic grid of color and that most visceral of negative affects, disgust? How might anxiety be a matter of an interrupted horizontal line, or grief a figure of blazing light? Offering a bold corrective to the emphasis on embodiment and experience in recent affect theory, Eugenie Brinkema develops a novel mode of criticism that locates the forms of particular affects within the specific details of cinematic and textual construction. Through close readings of works by Roland Barthes, Hollis Frampton, Sigmund Freud, Peter Greenaway, Michael Haneke, Alfred Hitchcock, Soren Kierkegaard, and David Lynch, Brinkema shows that deep attention to form, structure, and aesthetics enables a fundamental rethinking of the study of sensation. In the process, she delves into concepts as diverse as putrescence in French gastronomy, the role of the tear in philosophies of emotion, Nietzschean joy as a wild aesthetic of repetition, and the psychoanalytic theory of embarrassment. Above all, this provocative work is a call to harness the vitality of the affective turn for a renewed exploration of the possibilities of cinematic form.


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"The Forms of the Affects is an extraordinary book, brilliant, audacious, and breathtakingly original. I know of nothing else like it in film studies, or anywhere in theoretically-inspired critical writing across the humanities for that matter. It enters into some of the most vital and contentious debates in contemporary film theory and film studies; but it does this in an unprecedented way, giving surprising new answers where there have long been deadlocks. Eugenie Brinkema does not take sides in current disputes about the affective, cognitive, and formal dimensions of cinema; rather, she invents a new 'side' of her own." - Steven Shaviro, author of Without Criteria: Kant, Whitehead, Deleuze, and Aesthetics "The Forms of the Affects makes an important intervention into what has been described as the 'affective turn,' asking what 'formal affect' involves, or, put another way, what remains of affect if it is not thought through the lens of the subject. As she traces, with humor and verve, the ways philosophers have thought about sympathy, pathos, moral sentiment, crying, disgust, grief, loss, anxiety, and failure, Eugenie Brinkema repeatedly considers what it means to consider these experiences as visual problems. Through close readings of an impressive range of texts drawn from film, poetry, and experimental music, and spanning ancient to modern periods, the book explores the aesthetic forms that affect produces, and how reading affect for form pushes us to rethink the nature of formalism itself." - Karen Beckman, author of Animating Film Theory

About the Author

Eugenie Brinkema is Assistant Professor of Contemporary Literature and Media at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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