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Manet's silence and the poetics of bouquets
- "A sense of stillness and silence pervades Manet's painting. His flattened, sometimes fragmented forms appear to exist absentmindedly in a world removed from speech. It is this silence that James Rubin explores in a book that shows us Manet as we see him - naturally, in pictures that articulated their own purely visual terms. In such a sense, this book is about the restoration of the visual to its primacy in art through Manet's painting. While insisting that Manet's pictures must be given the first and final say in any interpretation, Rubin uses contradictory views of the painter's works - from the present and past - as a context for approaching them. Applying J.L. Austin's notion of the performative, which bridges the gap between language and action or between the painted image and its social effect, Rubin goes beyond past theorists to describe the curious ways in which Manet's paintings act upon us. With these ideas as his guide, he takes us through Manet's work, pointing out the elements that are distinctive and consistent, particularly the painter's reliance on a pattern of gazes and the "unique state of undecidability" that this strategy produces. Rubin also examines Manet's relationship to three of the leading critics of his day - Baudelaire, Zola, and Mallarme - giving special attention to Mallarme's appreciation, and eventual use in his own poetry, of the paradox between immersion and externality in Manet's oeuvre. Finally, the book uses the image of the bouquet to exemplify Manet's creative poetics through an exploration of his still life. Filled with revealing insights into Manet's achievement, this sensitive, informed, and clearly written book goes a long way toward explaining why Manet's paintings continue to fascinate and elude us more than one hundred years after the artist's death."
- "Criticism, interpretation, etc"
- "Manet's Silence and the Poetics of Bouquets"
- "Manet's silence and the poetics of bouquets"@en
- "Manet's silence and the poetics of bouquets"