Journal d'un inconnu by Jean Cocteau

By Jean Cocteau

"Je ne suis pas celui que vous croyez", disait souvent Cocteau. Ce souci de démystification, on le retrouve en filigrane dans le magazine d'un inconnu (1953) où parlant de l'inspiration, de l. a. mémoire, du temps, de l'amitié, l'auteur nous découvre son vrai visage. Une écriture éblouissante pour une vérité toujours fuyante.

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395). The perspectivists, it should be noted, included figures like Roger Bacon, John Peacham, and Witelo; only later did the term come to mean the Albertian model of vision rather than optics per se. 58. Steven Louis Goldman, "On the Interpretation of Symbols and the Christian Origins of Modern Science," The Journal ofReligion, 62,1 (January, 1982). He explicitly contrasts medieval Christian attitudes with those of Jewish thinkers of the period, who subordinated the visual imagination to discursive reasoning.

THE NOBLEST OF THE SENSES 35 There is much to be said for emphasizing the ocularcentrism of modern Europe, although, as we will see, not for homogenizing its manifestations. It would be a mistake, however, to contrast it too rigidly to an ocularphobic Middle Ages. For medieval Christian culture was not as hostile to the eye as Febvre and Mandrou-on rather thin evidence-suggest. Its Hellenic and Hebraic impulses, if we want to stay with that typology, were often in an uneasy balance. One of the major differences between Judaism and Christianity, after all, was the latter's faith in the corporeal incarnation of the divine in human form, which meant that the Mosaic taboo against graven images could easily be called into question.

For a suggestive interpretation of their significance, see Hartmut Bohme, "Sinne une Blick. Variationen zur mythopoetischen Geschichte des Subjekts," in Konkursbuch, vol. 13 (Tiibingen, 1984). 29. For a suggestive analysis of the implications of this struggle, see Michel Serres, "Panoptic Theory," in The Limits o/Theory, ed. Thomas M. Kavanagh (Stanford, Calif, 1989). 30. For a discussion of Greek apotropaic reactions to the evil eye, see Albert M. , 1982), chap. 4. 28 THE NOBLEST OF THE SENSES culture.

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