The Image in French Philosophy

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The Image in French Philosophy challenges dominant interpretations of Bergson, Sartre, Lyotard, Baudrillard and Deleuze by arguing that their philosophy was not a critique but a revival of metaphysics as a thinking pertaining to impersonal forces and distinguished by an aversion to subjectivity and an aversion of the philosophical gaze away from the discourse of vision, and thus away from the image. Insofar as the image was part of the discourse of subjectivity/representation, getting rid of the subject involved smuggling the concept of the image out of the discourse of subjectivity/representation into a newly revived and ethically flavored metaphysical discourse—a metaphysics of immanence, which was more interested in consciousness rather than subjectivity, in the inhuman rather than the human, in the virtual rather than the real, in Time rather than temporalization, in Memory rather than memory-images, in Imagination rather than images, in sum, in impersonal forces, de-personalizing experiences, states of dis-embodiment characterized by the breaking down of sensory-motor schemata (Bergson’s pure memory, Sartre’s image-consciousness, Deleuze’s time-image) or, more generally, in that which remains beyond representation i.e. beyond subjectivity (Lyotard’s sublime, Baudrillard’s fatal object). The book would be of interest to scholars and students of philosophy, aesthetics, and film theory.
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Biographical Note

Temenuga Trifonova (Ph.D SUNY Buffalo, MFA UC San Diego) is Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the University of New Brunswick, Canada. She writes on film and philosophy, film theory, European and American cinema, film adaptations and remakes, science fiction cinema, and aesthetics.

Review Quotes

"The proof of the nerve of a young author, who is not afraid of thinking for herself… A well-structured and challenging book." – Jan Baetens, University of Leuven

Table of contents

Introduction: The New Metaphysics of Immanence
Bergson’s Matter-Image: The Degradation of the Impersonal
Sartre’s Image-Consciousness: The Allergic Reaction to Matter
Lyotard’s Sublime: The Ontologization of the Image
Baudrillard’s Simulacrum: The End of Visibility
Deleuze’s Time-Image: Getting Rid of Ourselves
Imaginary Time in Contemporary Cinema
Bibliography
Index

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