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Ford Madox Ford

Vision, Visuality and Writing


Laura Colombino

Contents: Melancholy and eccentricity – The primacy of form and experimentation – Gaze and glance – Avant-garde and seriality – Modernist visual grids in writing – Horror vacui – Musical and visual counterpoints – The seduction of the text – The Other’s gaze – Ford’s kaleidoscopic conscience – Primitivist myth as delusion – The return of the Real – Lacan’s split between the eye and the gaze – The Imaginary and the Symbolic – Anamorphosis in painting and writing – Barthesian jouissance in Ford – Ford’s interest in Holbein, Whistler, Seurat, Cézanne, Matisse, Vuillard, Degas, Picasso, and Surrealism – Ford’s fascination with Schubert, Bach, and Couperin – The use of the camera eye – Nineteenth century theories of colours – Pointillist techniques applied to writing – The use of stereoscopic visuality – The gaze and the esprit de corps – Vision as trauma – The use of tragicomedy and parody – The representation of the shapeless subject – Tietjens’s similarities with Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton – The influence of E. A. Poe’s The Purloined Letter.