The theoretical literature on various aspects of visual representation is massive, extend-
ing from Jacques Lacan's work on vision as a function oflanguage, specularity, and the
gaze to Maurice Merieau-Ponty's on vision and perception, Roland Barthes's on pho-
tography, and Jacques Derrida's on painting, the parergon, and the cartouche. Even a
very partial bibliography of recent American work on these topics must include Michael
Fried, Absorption and Theatricality: Painting and Beholder in the Age ofDiderot (Berkeley: Univer-
sity of California Press, 1980); Susan Buck-Morss, The Dialectics of Seeing: Walter Benjamin
and the Arcades Project (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1989); Jonathan Crary, Techniques of
the Observer: On Vision and Modernity in the Nineteenth Century (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press,
1990); Mieke Bal, Reading "Rembrandt": Beyond the Word-Image Opposition (Cambridge: Cam-
bridge University Press, 1991); Rosalind E. Krauss, The Optical Unconscious (Cambridge,
Mass.: MIT Press, 1993). Three important recent collections of theoretical work are
Visual Culture: Images and Interpretations, ed. Norman Bryson, Michael Ann Holly, and Keith
Moxey (Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England, 1994); Lucien Taylor, ed., Visu-
alizing Theory (New York: Routledge, 1994); Vision and Textuality, ed. Stephen Melville and
Bill Readings (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1995). Linda Williams has gathered
a selection of recent work on visual representation, subjectivity, and film spectatorship
in Viewing Positions: Ways of Seeing Film (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press,
1995). Queer theory, queer practice, and visual culture intersect in Queer Looks: Perspectives
on Lesbian and Gay Film and Video, ed. Martha Gever, John Greyson, and Pratibha Parmar
(New York: Routledge, 1993). Thomas Waugh explores the histories of gay-male sexu-
ality and visual culture in Hard to Imagine: Gay-Male Eroticism in Photography and Film ftom
Their Beginnings to Stonewall (New York: Columbia University Press, 1996).
Roland Barthes, "Ravishment," A Lover's Discourse, trans. Richard Howard (New York: Hill
Wang, 1978; Paris, 1977), p. 192.
3 Henry James, A Small Boy and Others (New York: Scribner's, 1913), p. 104. Hereafter cited
parenthetically in the text.
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