Chapter 3: Serres: Haptic Perception, Touching Knowledge
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Serres: Haptic Perception, Touching Knowledge
The descriptions of haptic experience that appear in the theoretical and literary works of Blanchot and Bataille examined thus far exhibit a number of common features. Both writers posit some form of disconnection between the manner in which we perceive physical space and the manner in which we perceive our physical interactions with this space. The critical and literary means through which both writers expose this disjuncture are variable and no one approach to the issue is privileged by either Bataille or Blanchot for any length of time. Equivocation and a refusal to judge are the two most discernible traits of the writers’ critical and literary accounts of human spatial perception.
In their explorations of how the human body interacts with spaces that it may or may not perceive, Blanchot and Bataille also suggest that these interactions between sensory organs and (im)perceptible space do not necessarily occur within the confines of temporal continuity. Just as material cause need not determine material effect, so sensory stimulus does not always give rise to bodily reaction, or vice versa.
For this reason, the critical and literary works of Bataille and Blanchot also problematise the extent to which bodily perception of space or time may be analysed in terms of the haptic theorisations put forward by Aloïs Riegl, Laura U. Marks or Mark Paterson. This is especially troublesome when we recall that all three...
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