Show Less
Restricted access

Pierre Klossowski

The Pantomime of Spirits


Hervé Castanet

This book examines the many facets of the work of Pierre Klossowski (1905–2001). Klossowski first established himself as a writer and was known and admired by peers such as Bataille, Blanchot, Gide, Foucault, Deleuze and Lacan. But in 1972 he gave up writing to devote himself to his ‘mutism’: painting made up of large coloured drawings. In time he became as famous a painter as he had been a writer and theorist. Klossowski now has two separate groups of commentators: those concerned with his writings and those with his painting, with little overlap between the two.
Here, this separation is explicitly removed. Klossowski’s entire œuvre revolved around the concept of the gaze. Rarely has the gaze been so radically interpreted – as an active, mobile, evanescent object that breaks down the connections between representation and the visible. How is one to see the invisible divinity? This question plagued Klossowski, and he displaced it onto pornographic rituals. The pantomime of spirits is the scene, fixed in silence, where bodies meet – a knotting of desiring body and dogmatic theology. A creator of simulacra, Klossowski attempted to exorcise the ‘obsessive constraint of the phantasm’ that subjugated him in all these scenes.
Translated from the French by Adrian Price in collaboration with Pamela King.
Show Summary Details
Restricted access

JUDITH MILLER – Mutation: Interview with Pierre Klossowski


| 291 →


Mutation: Interview with Pierre Klossowski

JUDITH MILLER: Is Klossowski, l’homme aux simulacres the work of an admirer?

PIERRE KLOSSOWSKI: Eight years ago, Anne-Marie Lugan-Dardigna published a feminist book with the editor Maspéro in which I was made to bear the cross for all the others, Sade, Bataille, Robbe-Grillet, etc. But afterwards she came round to reconsidering her initial point of view, in particular her analyses of the Roberte trilogy (Les lois de l’hospitalité), and one day she wrote me a letter of great warmth, with an eye to meeting up. We spoke, and she listened to me at great length for this book.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.