Royal gaze

sagehen sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM
Fri Mar 23 03:38:34 UTC 2007

>At 3/22/2007 07:27 PM, Amy West wrote:
>>I've encountered "gaze" as a critical theory term in
>>Lacanian/feminist literary criticism.
>>Can you give a context for "royal gaze"?
>I can only give contexts (snippets) I pick up
>from Google, which suggest transferred and/or
>figurative senses from a literal royal (e.g.
>king) looking at someone or something.  An 18th
>century scholar mentions Johnson's first sense of
>the noun "gaze", as "intent regard", but some of
>these snippets seem to go beyond that.
>"without turning one's back on the royal gaze,
>that is, walking backwards. ..."  [fairly literal]
>"A formal pageant was to be enacted under the ‘royal’ gaze"
>  "He brought him to Jesus, and Jesus looking
>earnestly on him with that royal gaze which read
>intuitively the inmost thoughts-seeing at a glance in that ..."
>The casting of the royal gaze in these terms
>communicates once again a double ... It is his
>gaze, a royal gaze-and in a nation under Salic lawa male gaze, ...
>[From "The Poetics of Gender", by Nancy K.
>Miller.  Perhaps the "Lacanian/feminist literary criticism"?]
>Likewise, both male and female members of the Ottoman court could exercise
>control over different types of spaces by
>manipulating both the built environment
>through architectural projects and by exercising
>the privileges of the royal gaze,
>a privilege that was recognized and implemented in the design and layout of
>Ottoman structures, ...
>[I cannot cut and paste next three lines]
>and the complex dynamics of the royal gaze has been discovered more
>recently as
>an important factor in how Islamic patrons of
>architecture exercised control over
>and perhaps engendered space.
>And from the art world [but I have no idea
>whether the references are to portraits or royals!]
>Chorda goes on, unfortunately, to make much of
>this "royal gaze" in his interpretation of the picture
>[From Comment on "Anamorphosis and the Eccentric
>Observer: Inverted Perspective and the Construction of the Gaze"
>Vladimir Tamari
>Leonardo, Vol. 26, No. 1 (1993), p. 90]
>The observed and the observer are thus unified,
>allowing the painter to communicate the quality
>of the 'royal gaze' to all those who contemplate this work.
>[From Computer Graphics for the Analysis of
>Perspective in Visual Art: "Las Meninas", by Velazquez
>Frederic Chorda
>Leonardo, Vol. 24, No. 5 (1991), pp. 563-567]
And, by further extension, somewhat analogous to "scenic view", thus
allowing it to refer to "a cat may look at a king"!

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