Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Figure, Image, Phantasm

[Some notes on reading Barthes' interview with Brochier, "A Great Rhetorician of Erotic Figures," (The Grain of the Voice, pp. 252-257)]

"As for Fourier, he is obviously a combiner of passions..."

Needless to say, there are also combiners of reasons.

"...the phantasm is a scenario in which the subject situates himself in terms of his desire. This very simple definition is quite suitable for scenes—one passes easily from scenario to scene."

Let's say that the figure is a scene in which the object is situated as thing in terms of belief. (Note the "objectivity" of this formula: the subject drops out completely and leaves what Wittgenstein called "the reality coordinated with it".)

From the figure, we derive our concepts. From the phantasm, we derive our emotions.

The image is the pivot. Through it, one passes easily from phantasm to figure, from scenario to scene.

"I find myself wanting to recreate or find pivot-points in my own poems," said Tony Tost once: "a pivot from image to aphorism, from emotion to trivia." It's something like that.