Thursday, January 03, 2013

Theoretical Bibliography: Figural Criticism

The following is intended to be a bibliography-in-progress for anyone interested in pursuing the line of inquiry concerning figural criticism of cinema, as popularized in at least some circles by the dedicated work of Nicole Brenez over the past two decades.  This is something I'll be cobbling together and updating in my spare time indefinitely, and I welcome comments and suggestions for the list (including non-English language sources).  Sources below are generally attached to English language texts and translations, perhaps with key untranslated texts mentioned as well.  On first pass ...

Dudley Andrew, "Figuration," Concepts in Film Theory (Oxford, 1984), pp. 157-171.

Erich Auerbach, "Figura," trans. Ralph Manheim, Scenes from the Drama of European Literature (University of Minnesota, 1944/1984), pp. 11-71.

Erich Auerbach, Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature, trans. Willard R. Trask (Princeton University Press, 2003)

Béla Balász, Theory of the Film: Character and Growth of a New Art (1952) [link]

Nicole Brenez, De la figure en général et du corps en particulier: l'invention figurative au cinéma (Paris, Brussels: De Boeck Université, 1998)
  • Nicole Brenez, "Come Into My Sleep," trans. Adrian Martin, RougeRouge (excerpt from the introduction to De la figure en général et du corps en particulier) [link]

Nicole Brenez, "The Ultimate Journey: Remarks on Contemporary Theory," trans. William D. Routt, Screening the Past (1997) [link

Stephen Heath, Questions of Cinema (Indiana University Press, 1981)

Vachel Lindsay, The Art of the Moving Picture (1922) [link

Lucretius, On the Nature of the Things [link to one freely available translation]

Adrian Martin, Last Day Every Day: Figural Thinking from Auerbach and Kracauer to Agamben and Brenez (Punctum Books, 2012) [link]
  • A video interview with Adrian Martin on his book, approximately an hour long. [link]

D.N. Rodowick, Reading the Figural, or, Philosophy After New Media (Duke, 2001)

William D. Routt, "For Criticism," Screening the Past (2000) [link part 1] [link part 2]

... of course, Catherine Grant's [insert your own superlative here] Film Studies for Free has already compiled a list similar to this here (and I'll eventually include more of the links on my own list); one key difference is that my bibliography might extend more into non-electronic sources and philosophical genealogies for the consideration of figural theory & criticism.

Last Update: January 3, 2012.


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