The Aesthetic Surplus of Seeing

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See also: Surplus of Seeing and Cognition

  • A position (in Bakhtin's work) located outside of the hero that enables her to be "consummated" (Bakhtin's word) by the author. Similarly, I am consummated by another because only an other can see my entire body.
For within consciousness, identity is always experienced as a dispersed, unfinished process, self consciousness is always unboundaried. (PM, BR 88)

  • When I contemplate a whole human being who is situated outside and over against me, our concrete, actually experienced horizons do not coincide. For at each given moment, regardless of the position and the proximity to me of this other human being I am contemplating, I shall always see and know something that he, from his place inside and over against me, cannot see himself: parts of his body that are inaccessible to his own gaze (his head, his face and its expression), the world behind his back, and the whole series of objects and relations, which in any of our mutual relations are accessible to me but not to him...The ever-present excess of my seeing, knowing, and possessing in relation to any other human being is founded in the uniqueness and irreplaceability of my place in the world. For only I--the one-and-only I--occupy in a given set of circumstances this particular place at this particular time; all other human beings are situated outside me. (MB, AH 22-23)

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