Emotional Rescue And, Au Ralenti, Some Stories About Images

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Plastic arts and image have their origin in love, according to Pliny’s myth: the shadow gives the first representation the similarity needed to its affective and mnesic role.
Two stories, “The Oval Portrait” by E. A. Poe and The Invention of Morel by A. Bioy Casares reconstitute fictionally the power of visual images, either static or mobile, on viewers. The influence of the image closes them all (viewers and creators) in an emotional space where strong agitation alternates with immobility and amazement. Under the influence of images and / or situations determined by a previous manipulation of concrete, spatial and temporal aspects of a place, the spectator’s states of mind, thoughts and actions are affected. In these two stories, emotion is sometimes the engine of artistic creativity, other times it is the artistic creativity the engine of emotion.
In both stories, feelings and emotions are disregarded by creators (genius) and viewers. For them, all human sacrifice is acceptable because of their belief in (and their desire of) immortality brought by technical or artistic images. However, the neglected emotional and affective dimension should not bring some disturbing questions to the reader? As a kind of witness to the events and characters involved in the fictional world, the reader deals with the fearful possibility of life being entirely represented by images (a man or a woman that are there in their images), as a result of a kind of magical transference or contagion. How can the reader be more sensitive to the excitement of the spectacle (which gives him a reason for comfort, moral and ethical detachment) than to the suffering of those involved in the construction of the spectacle?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMorality and Emotion (Un)conscious Journey Into Being
EditorsSara Silva
Place of PublicationNova Iorque
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9781138121300
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Artistic creativity
  • Emotion
  • Sacrifice
  • Blind obedience
  • Depersonalization


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