The Forms of the Affects

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The Forms of Affects
Eugenie Brinkema
Duke University Press Books, 2014

What is the relationship between a cinematic grid of color and that most visceral of negative affects, disgust? How might anxiety be a matter of an interrupted horizontal line, or grief a figure of blazing light?

Offering a bold corrective to the emphasis on embodiment and experience in recent affect theory, Eugenie Brinkema develops a novel mode of criticism that locates the forms of particular affects within the specific details of cinematic and textual construction. Through close readings of works by Roland Barthes, Hollis Frampton, Sigmund Freud, Peter Greenaway, Michael Haneke, Alfred Hitchcock, Søren Kierkegaard, and David Lynch, Brinkema shows that deep attention to form, structure, and aesthetics enables a fundamental rethinking of the study of sensation. In the process, she delves into concepts as diverse as putrescence in French gastronomy, the role of the tear in philosophies of emotion, Nietzschean joy as a wild aesthetic of repetition, and the psychoanalytic theory of embarrassment. Above all, this provocative work is a call to harness the vitality of the affective turn for a renewed exploration of the possibilities of cinematic form.

About Eugenie Brinkema

Eugenie Brinkema‘s research in film and media studies focuses on violence, affect, sexuality, aesthetics, and ethics in texts ranging from the horror film to the body of films dubbed “New European Extremism” to the visual and temporal forms of terrorism. Her articles have appeared in numerous journals including Angelaki, Camera Obscura, Criticism, differences, The Journal of Speculative Philosophy, World Picture, and in anthologies on director Michael Haneke and rape in art cinema. Her first book, The Forms of the Affects (Duke University Press, Spring 2014), interrogates the relationship between form and grief, disgust, nostalgia, anxiety, and joy in film, critical theory, psychoanalysis, and continental philosophy. Her current project explores the speculative potential of radical formalism in relation to horror and love.

 
 

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