Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Image (1)

The image occurs in the body where sensory stimulus meets motor impulse. The image is simply what the body experiences. The body is simply the experiencer of the image. The image may be developed in the direction of sensation or in the direction of motivation. It may indicate a world to be known or a history to be mastered. The image may suggest an object or subject. It may suggest both. An arrangement of images will usually tend in one or another direction.

Images arranged to emphasize the motoric aspects of experience supply the content of poems and, further developed, political representations. Images arranged to emphasize the sensory aspects of experience occasion philosophical reflection and, further, scientific representation.


Presskorn said...

I know I keep bugging you about the concept of an image. It is highly abstract term of art, and yet it seems as if it should be easy to exemplify - But I don't remember any examples. So I'll give a go just to test my understanding:

When contemplating the color of my coffee mug, the experience of red is an image developed in the direction of an sensation and an object. While if I'm comtemplating an painting (or even just attending to a traffic light), the experience of red is an image developed in the direction of a motivation and a subject.


Thomas said...

That's quite good, but the "red" image is too simple (shows your analytic training).

There is the image of the cup, a complex of structure and texture, shape and color, tactile surface and colored appearance. You may be holding the cup and seeing it, for example.

The image can then be taken in the direction of placing the cup to your lips and drinking from it, i.e., the image of the cup may suggest a variety of movements. But it will also suggest a number of sensations, in which the cup ... the cup of coffee comes into its own as an object.

May favorite example is the "dead" cup of coffee. The cup from yesterday you left on your desk and put your fresh cup (made this morning) down beside. After a some minutes of writing (and drinking your cooling coffee) you reach out for the wrong cup, still half-full from yesterday. And somehow "know" it's the wrong cup. It's not just not "hot" (neither is the right cup any longer) it's "cold".

It's the same shape and color. But it presents you with a wholly different image.

I like to think this is my best analysis of an image in literature:

"Decision and Desire"

And this poem of mine includes an image of a cup:

"Metaphysical Composition II".