— Field Notes

Domain of Phantasms

 Jan_Mandyn_001

 

Painting by  Jan Mandyn – The Temptation of Saint Anthony -  1530

“Possibly, Flaubert was responding to an experience of the fantastic which was singularly modern and relatively unknown before his time, to the discovery of a new imaginative space in the 19th century. This domain of phantasms is no longer the night, the sleep of reason, or the uncertain void that stands before desire, but, on the contrary, wakefulness, untiring attention, zealous erudition, and constant vigilance. Henceforth, the visionary experience arises from the black and white surface of printed signs, from the closed and dusty volume that opens with a flight of forgotten words; fantasies are carefully deployed in the hushed library, with its columns of books, with its titles aligned on shelves to form a tight enclosure, but within confines that also liberate impossible worlds. The imaginary now resides between the book and the lamp.”


Michel Foucault, Fantasia of the Library (on Flaubert’s Temptation of Saint Anthony)

Via:  INVISIBLE STORIES

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