Geography of the Body: Jean Epstein's Poetics and Conceptualization of the Body in his Unpublished Writings

Daniel Pitarch Fernández
2013 Acta Universitatis Sapientiae: Film and Media Studies  
Jean Epstein wrote many books during his life, but some of them were left unpublished. This unpublished corpus is of significant importance to understand his work and thinking. In this essay I address three of these books: Ganymède (a book on male homosexual ethics), Contre-pensées (Counter-Thoughts), a compilation of short essays on a wide variety of topics), and L'autre ciel (The Other Heaven), a literary work. My main purpose is to better understand a major motif in Epstein's thought: the
more » ... an body. These writings show how his interest in physiology was profound and very important during his whole life, and how he always emphasized the material side of any psychology, identity, or thought. Secondly, they address the topic of artificiality and humanity. Epstein claims that what is specifically human is to evolve through specialization and reification, even if it were against nature. And thirdly, they fully disclose the inherent sensuality of some Epstein texts (for instance his descriptions of close ups); one of the major subjects of L'autre ciel is male homoeroticism. These unpublished writings shed new light on Epstein's film writings and must be considered in order to do a complete account of his work and thought.
doi:10.2478/ausfm-2014-0014 fatcat:bvf3oufxgbbqhgt5xaqxkfyud4