Filozofija I Društvo 26 (1):156-178 (2015)

Authors
Mladen Dolar
University of Ljubljana
Abstract
The moment one imitates something, it sticks, it marks the imitator, there is no innocent imitation. Imitation necessarily affects the one who imitates, for better or for worse, and the making of a simple copy of something necessarily affects the original. This is perhaps the briefest way to describe Plato?s concerns about the nature of mimesis in the Republic. The purpose of this paper is to give a brief account of looking at the mysterious magic powers of mimesis and of attempts to counteract them. The topic is massive, so the paper will concentrate on a few perspectives, starting with the theatrical parable of St. Genesius, leading to Pascal and to Althusser?s theory of ideology, then scrutinizing the ways in which modernity tried to disentangle itself from mimesis. What is the real of the mimetic spell which has so vastly ramified aesthetic and political consequences? The paper proposes a defense of mimesis, claiming that modernity, by relegating the traditional art to the past of mimesis and representation, thereby maintained a disavowed kernel of mimesis at its core. nema
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DOI 10.2298/fid1501156d
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