In our second swath of reading, I began to notice lots of cases of disembodiment, sometimes figurative and other times literal. I don’t have time for any sort of obsessive synthesis of these things right now, but I thought I’d publish a little list.
- Medusa/Gorgon and snakes found in England and the Medusa’s disembodied head as a weapon
- Edwin Johns and mutilation (and Morini’s relationship to it as a man not himself whole of body)
- Morini’s disembodied voice on the phone message (p. 93)
- Archimboldi’s book entitled The Head mentioned in this section
- don’t forget Arcimboldo and his pictures of things made of other things, in particular heads made of bodies.
- ghost on 98 as a spirit separated from its earthly body
- synechdoche as a sort of disembodiment? (the head as representative of the whole?)
- question of whether or not Archimboldi really bodily exists (along with the Marquis de Sade)
- silhouettes (65)
- blow you to pieces (60)
- “bodies and faces” on 84
- “weren’t you supposed to have disappeared?” (102)
- Morini is at the U. of Turin; makes me think of the shroud of Turin, a link to another elusive body
There may be more. I had been thinking of trying to tie in the bachelor/brides reference I’ve written about before. Along with lots of instances of disembodiment (or at least attention to bodies and parts of bodies or absence thereof), we see escalating violence in this section. This all seems connected.