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Embodied Fantasies: From Awe to Artifice

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Edited By Suzanne Anker and Sabine Flach

Embodied Fantasies, a concept central to art history, theory and practice is concurrently a topic debated in the fields of the neuro- and cognitive sciences, philosophy and phenomenology.
This volume focuses on notions of embodiment as they relate to sexuality, aesthetics, epistemology, perception, and fantasy itself.
Approaches to modes of fantasies are explored beyond traditional conceptions to include complex thinking processes, subjectivity and inter-subjective experiences. What function do fantasies and their images possess in relation to art as a form of knowledge production?

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3. Thwarted Expectations

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Fantasias – Experimental Induced Psychosis and Modern Aesthetics in 19th Century France GERHARD SCHARBERT The topic of this essay is a constellation of experimental psychiatry and aesthet- ic theories circulating in the 1850s in France that founded the basis of modern- ism as we understand it today. The fact that this foundation was built in direct connection with the use of drugs to influence the brain and nervous system jus- tifies the inclusion of this topic in a book entitled Embodied Fantasies. Sometime in the 1840’s, author Théophile Gautier received a strange letter at Rue de Navarin 14 in Montmartre, the ninth Parisian arrondissement. The post was from the painter Boissard de Boisdenier, who at this point in time lived on Ile St-Louis in brilliant old-world splendor in a city chateau. Je t’ai informé du jour, ૵ țȡĮIJȚıIJİ ĬİȠijȚȜİ, mais non de l’heure. Il faut que tu arrives de- main vers la cinquième, MILITAIRE, c’est exigé pour que la fantasia puisse se développer agréablement et s’épandre sur tout la soirée. Tout à toi F. Boissard. ce Lundi.1 I told you about the day, my very best Theophilos, but not about the time. You should arrive around five, MILITARY, it is needed for the fantasia to develop nicely and spread over the whole evening. Yours wholly, F. Boissard. Monday Here we find the key word fantasia, but what does it mean in this context? It refers to a gathering of select participants from artistic, musical, and literary spheres of France...

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