The Painter through the Fourth Wall of China : Benjamin and the Threshold of the Image

  • Walter Benjamin had a revealing fascination with the legend of a Chinese artist who entered his painting and disappeared in it. In his writings this character becomes an emblematic figure that enables the philosopher to discuss the nature of representation in its various infections (in games and in painting, in theater and in cinema); to explore the status of the image and of the threshold that simultaneously separates and connects image and reality; to analyse the different bodily (i. e. "aesthetic") attitudes of the beholder in his/her close or distant relationship to the image; to investigate the manifold implications of empathy ('Einfühlung ') toward the figurative world; and finally, to approach a peculiar kind of dialectics, namely the "Chinese". My paper aims at considering such varied aspects in Benjamin's interpretation of the Chinese painter, understanding it as a true "dialectical image" that in its 'non-coincidentia oppositorum' provokes not only significant hermeneutic oscillations, but even a radical inversion of its fundamental meaning.

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Author:Andrea Pinotti
Parent Title (German):Benjamin-Studien
Publisher:Wilhelm Fink
Place of publication:Paderborn
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2017/06/22
Year of first Publication:2014
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2017/06/22
GND Keyword:Benjamin, Walter; Wu, Daoxuan
Page Number:21
First Page:133
Last Page:149
Dewey Decimal Classification:8 Literatur / 80 Literatur, Rhetorik, Literaturwissenschaft / 800 Literatur und Rhetorik
Sammlungen:CompaRe | Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft
CompaRe | Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft / Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung, Berlin
BDSL-Klassifikation:01.00.00 Allgemeine deutsche Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft / BDSL-Klassifikation: 01.00.00 Allgemeine deutsche Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft > 01.08.00 Zu einzelnen Germanisten, Literaturtheoretikern und Essayisten
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht