Elkins asks about objects that are too violent, too sexually charged, or too beautiful to look at directly. When we see a naked body, we either stare lasciviously or. For the art historian James Elkins, there is no such thing as “just looking. inconsistent, and undependable, he says in The Object Stares Back. In Elkins’s view, even the simplest, most reductive statement that can be made about seeing, “the beholder looks at the object,” is charged with.

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But those ideas are just illusions, James Elkins argues, and he suggests that seeing is undependable, inconsistent and cauthg up in the threads of the unconscious.

Tags What are tags? No eBook available Amazon. A very thought-provoking book, that I promise will leave you wondering and thinking about what you see–and don’t see–in your everyday environment. This ability seems detached, efficient, and rational – as if the eyes are competent machines telling us everything about the world without distorting it in any way. Elkins is clear and direct in his writing, and his arguments range far outside the field of art history and theory, moving quite effortlessly into psychology, philosophy, science, and metaphysics.

You will learn how to better see the world around you. It is difficult to understand.

The Object Stares Back: On the Nature of Seeing

Oct 23, Elisha rated it liked it. It was interesting and there are a few good stars to think over, but it was a struggle. He goes into different reasons for this fragmentation, some physical and some social. Apr 04, Sam rated it really liked it Shelves: University of Queensland Library.


The chapter on blindness didn’t seem so well done to jams more talks about how normal sight really incorporates blindness into itself than about perceiving the world as a blind person this disappointed me. Using drawings, paintings, diagrams, and photographs to illustrate his points, Elkins raises intriguing questions and offers astonishing perceptions about the nature of vision. There was a problem adding ohject email address.

For example, he writes that something that catches your eye is an active participant in the act of your looking. My library Help Advanced Book Search.

Found at these bookshops Searching – please wait But those jaames are just illusions, Elkins argues, and he suggests that seeing is undependable, inconsistent, and caught up in the threads of the unconscious. It’s a subject that we take for granted and draw large assumptions about. James Elkins — present is an art historian and art critic. There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

We just focus our eyes and take in whatever is before us. Now if I step back from the shelf and look quickly across both bookcases I speed up that same process a hundredfold.

The world is flooded with light, and everything is available to be seen. Slog thr A very thought-provoking book, that I promise will leave you wondering and thinking about what you see–and don’t see–in your everyday environment.

James Elkins The Object Stares Back | Philosophy

Looking for beautiful books? We’re featuring millions of jamds reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Separate different tags with a comma. There are no words for how much I disliked this book. An incredible read for anyone who’s interested in the theory of sight, perception, elkjns cognition. Tied together with many personal anecdotes with flowing use of language, the book is Elkins’ thoughts on sight and seeing is a multifaceted deconstruction on how we view and are viewed by objects we encounter.


These online bookshops told us they have this item: See 1 question about The Object Stares Back…. The Object Stares Abck Open to the public ; Fascinating book about the act of seeing and how it affects both the object seen and the one seeing.

The Object Stares Back: On the Nature of Seeing – James Elkins – Google Books

Be the first to discover new talent! Trivia About The Object Stares Some of the most stimulating parts of the book for me were the discussion of the power of objects; the idea of the visual field as containing complex topographies that attract and repel a viewer’s attention; the inextricable connection between seeing and blindness; and, the centrality of the body and the jamss in human vision.

I actually started using this book in my class when I started teaching an intro college course to art history and my students always respond positively to this book. On the Nature of Seeing by James Elkins. Visit our Beautiful Books page and find lovely books sstares kids, photography lovers and more. Just a moment iames we sign you in to your Goodreads account.

Feb 10, Anda rated it liked it Shelves: