The first person represented as a subject’s field of vision, as opposed to first-person language, has only been around for a century and a half. Yet the claims advanced by its philosophical inventor, Ernst Mach, are momentous: nothing less than the dissolution of the self into a world of sensations. A closer look at his images reveals less an elimination of the self than a reflection of the connection between subject, world, and others.
The World as I found it: On the First-Person Point of View
Andrei Pop is a professor in the Committee on Social Thought and the Department of Art History at the University of Chicago. His books include Antiquity, Theatre, and the Painting of Henry Fuseli (2015) and, more recently, A Forest of Symbols: Art, Science, and Truth in the Long Nineteenth Century (2019). He co-edited a volume on Ugliness: The Non-Beautiful in Art and Theory (2013) with Mechtild Widrich, with whom he has also edited and translated Karl Rosenkranz’s 1853 German treatise on the Aesthetics of Ugliness (2015).
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Andrei Pop; The World as I found it: On the First-Person Point of View. Representations 1 November 2021; 156 (1): 55–84. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/rep.2021.156.3.55
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