By Elaine Scarry
This selection of essays screens the author's constructing situation with the problematics of illustration as exemplified in literary texts that care for such strategies as paintings, discomfort, time, and the cosmos. via her readings of texts by way of Thomas Hardy, Samuel Beckett, Boethius, William Thackeray and others, Scarry demonstrates the problems and the complexities of the ways that language and imagery try out, and fail, to make current a few elements of the "real."
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Extra resources for Resisting Representation
Thus it is, in its work and its play, in the midst of great yearning and in the moment of great fatigue, forever rubbing up against and leaving traces of itself (its blood) on the world, as the world is forever rubbing up against and leaving traces of itself (its paint) on the human creature. So it is that a girl passes through a swinging gate. Soon she is through the gate. A minute later she is beyond the gate which, if she were to look back over her shoulder, would be invisible, eclipsed by an intervening lilac bush.
It seems to follow, instead, from the discrepancy in the two audiences addressed. Commercials for aspirin and nonaspirin substitutes are addressed to the people who themselves have the aches and pains: the advertisers are probably correct in believing that almost everyone has occasional small aches and pains, and a large number of people have some aches and pains fairly regularly. They need not present their product through the coercive strategies used for many other commercial products in part because physical pain, even when minor, provides its own coercion, its own compelling message that it must be gotten rid of.
FIGURE 16. Obdurate Sensation: Pain 37 FIGURE 17. (even if a male voice names the remedy and narrates the solution); in medical advertisements, both men and women have pain, and the age range begins at infancy and continues to the end. The judgments about what portions of the body engage the world are often mutually exclusive, as the representations of tennis by Tylenol and Dolobid 500 suggest (Figures 7 and 15). The woman in Figure 17 could never appear on behalf of aspirin because even if one could cajole her into long sleeves (which seems unlikely), no amount of clothing could disguise the profound embodiment of her arms.
Resisting Representation by Elaine Scarry