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Title: Haptic experience in the writings of Georges Bataille, Maurice Blanchot and Michel Serres
Author: Lee, Crispin
ISNI:       0000 0004 3610 2674
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2014
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The writings of Georges Bataille (1897- 1962), Maurice Blanchot (1907-2003) and Michel Serres (1930- ) all encompass critical theory and literary narrative. The theoretical and literary strands of these writers' works allude frequently to instances of perception which involve sight and touch. The approaches to questions of corporeal sensation favoured by Bataille, Blanchot and Serres differ appreciably, however. For this reason, analyses of any common literary or theoretical ground that may exist between these authors are relatively scarce. In fact, there are currently no other in-depth analyses which compare the writings of Bataille, Blanchot and Serres. In this thesis, I take " the further unprecedented step of comparing these three writers' theoretical and literary output by examining the manner in which they approach the sensory possibilities of haptic perception. The term 'haptic' (or haptisch) is often associated with aesthetic theories posited by Alols Riegl (1858- 1905). Broadly speaking, Riegl's model of haptic perception describes a synergy between touch and vision that is inspired by artworks, examples of handicraft or built structures. Following an introductory analysis of Riegl's theorisation of haptic sensation, I examine three recent reformulations of his concept which are provided by Laura U. Marks (1963-), Mark Paterson (1972-) and Jean-Luc Nancy (1940-). These understandings of haptic perception have been chosen because they capture the sheer diversity of haptic sensory experiences portrayed in the writings of Bataille, Blanchot and Serres. My subsequent close readings of Bataille, Blanchot and Serres's works show that the three writers' theoretical and literary texts eventually shun allusions to haptic perception to varying degrees. In spite of these apparent rejections, I conclude that for Bataille, Blanchot and Serres, portrayals of haptic perception play an enduring role in reconciling the abstractive tendencies of philosophical writing with the empirical demands of literary narrative.
Supervisor: Baldwin, Thomas Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: B Philosophy (General) ; PQ1 French Literature