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The Eye and the Gaze

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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a dominant figure in European literature and intellectual life, was the creator of a new and influential visual culture. This volume investigates a new science of perception through an exploration of his autobiographical works, novels and writings on optics. The psychoanalytic approach taken in this study focuses on central acts of perception and the role of vision in Goethe as key to the formation of identity. By addressing the impact of visuality on the act of writing, new interpretations of his most important works emerge through analysis of subject formation in the autobiographies, the Italian Journey and Poetry and Truth. Further, the relationship between the self and the gaze plays a central role in the semi-autobiographical works, The Elective Affinities, Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, as well as Color Theory. In exploring the question of identity and identification within a Lacanian framework, The Eye and the Gaze offers an innovative approach to biography, autobiography, and narrative.
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Table of Contents

Contents: The Eye and the Gaze: Goethe and the Autobiographical Subject - The Transformative View: Goethe's Italian Journey - Birth in Language: Goethe's Biographical Masquerade - The End of Language: Goethe, Lavater and the Eye/I of Physiognomy - Werther Fever: Cause and Cure - The Narcissistic I/Eye: Performance, Politics and Specular Lessons - Images of Desire: Tableaux Vivants in Goethe's Elective Affinities - Specular Confessions: Goethe on Newton and Lavater.

About the Author

Evelyn K. Moore, Associate Professor Emerita of German at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, has published in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century German literature including The Passions of Rhetoric: Lessing and the German Enlightenment, 1993. She co-edited The Enlightened Eye: Goethe and Visual Culture, 2007, as well as (Re)-turn: A Journal of Lacanian Studies from 2003-2009.

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