Universitatea „Alexandru Ioan Cuza” din Iaşi Departamentul de Cercetare Interdisciplinar – Domeniul Socio-Uman
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2 / 2017
Eminescu and the Fascination of Severed Heads: an imaginary of decapitation
The article investigates Mihai Eminescu’s interest for the insolitation of the head’s beauty. On the connotative level, this interest is apparent in the techniques of framing the face or the head. On the denotative level, the poet’s interest becomes obvious, as he explores in a naturalistic vein, the cruelty of decollation in his early novel “Geniu Pustiu”. Departing from recent cultural studies devoted to the head’s severance (Larissa Tracy, Jeff Macey, Frances Larson) and from the narrative situation when Ioan is decapitated by his friend, Toma Nour, I endeavor to expand the analysis of decollation in Eminescu’s poetry, theatre, and prose. Being ostentatiously looked at – which makes the head almost autonomous with respect to the rest of the human body – the portrait/ the framed face (in pictures, photos or sculptures) represents a sublimation of the body’s powers as well as a locus where physics and metaphysics encounter each other.
Key words: decapitation, insolitation, portrait, re-personalization, the cult of the head
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