test Browse by Author Names Browse by Titles of Works Browse by Subjects of Works Browse by Issue Dates of Works
       

Advanced Search
Home   
 
Browse   
Communities
& Collections
  
Issue Date   
Author   
Title   
Subject   
 
Sign on to:   
Receive email
updates
  
My Account
authorized users
  
Edit Profile   
 
Help   
About T-Space   

T-Space at The University of Toronto Libraries >
School of Graduate Studies - Theses >
Doctoral >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/26454

Title: Angels In-between. The Poetics of Excess and the Crisis of Representation
Authors: Cosma, Ioana
Advisor: Le Huenen, Roland
Colilli, Paul
Department: Comparative Literature
Keywords: Angel
angelophany
revelation
representation
presence
absence
excess
the space-between
intermediary
kataphasis
apophasis
limit
liminal
visible
invisible
admiratio
attention
patience
constituted reader
appearance
imaginal
creative imagination
symbol
adherence
denegation
de-nomination
icon
iconostasis
ta’ wîl
Nicholas of Cusa
Sohravardî
Walter Benjamin
Paul Valéry
Issue Date: 7-Mar-2011
Abstract: This dissertation examines the reconfiguration of the limits of representation in reference to the intermediary function of angels. The Modernist engagement with the figure of the angel entailed, primarily, a reconsideration of the problem of representation as well as an attempt to trace the contours of a poetics that plays itself outside the mimetic understanding of representation. My contention is that this transformation of literary referentiality was not simply a disengagement of art from reality but, rather, from the truthfalsity, reality-fiction, subject-object dichotomies. The angel, defined as the figure of passage par excellence, but also as the agency that induces the transformation of the visible in the invisible and vice versa, appears both as a model/archetype and as a guide towards the illumination of this intermediary aesthetic. Working with the joined perspectives from angelology, contemporary phenomenology, and poetics, this dissertation is an extended overview of the notion of intermediary spaces, as well as an attempt to probe the relevance of this concept for the field of literary studies. In the first case, this dissertation offers a theoretical background to the concept of intermediality, seen in its theological, phenomenological, aesthetic and ethical significances. In the second case, it presents the reader with a heuristic apparatus for approaching this problematic in the field of literary interpretation and provides examples of ways in which such an analysis can become relevant. The primary texts discussed here are all examples of attempts to redefine the notion of representation away from the truth-falsity or subject-object oppositions, as well as to create an aesthetic space with its own particularities, at the limit between visibility and invisibility, excessive presence and absence. Nicholas of Cusa’s “Preface” to The Vision of God proposes an ethics of reading defined by admiratio (the consubstantiation of immediacy and distance) under the aegis of the all-seeing icon of God. Louis Marin’s reading of the episode of the Resurrection reveals that history and narrative arise from the conjunction of the excessive absence of the empty tomb of Jesus and the excessive presence announcing the resurrection of Christ. Sohravardî’s “Recital of the Crimson Angel” is a presentation of the space-between of revelation, between cognitio matutina and cognitio vespertina. Walter Benjamin’s “Agesilaus Santander” restores the connections between the exoteric and the esoteric under the patient gaze of “Angelus Novus”. Paul Valéry’s Eupalinos, ou l’Architecte explores the aesthetic of “real appearance” in the space-between the image and the perceiving eye. Poe and Malamud’s short stories reveal the affinities between poetic language and angelophany. Elie Wiesel’s Les portes de la forêt expands the apophatic itinerary from the self to the radically other in a hermeneutical gesture which has the angel as its initial and final guide. Finally, Rafael Alberti’s Sobre los ángeles shows that the aphaeretic function of poetic language is very similar to the apophatic treatment of the world as representation; in this last sense too, the angels are indispensible guides.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/26454
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

Files in This Item:

File Description SizeFormat
Cosma_Ioana_I_200911_PhD_thesis.pdf.pdf4.76 MBAdobe PDF
View/Open

Items in T-Space are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

uoft