royal gaze

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Fri Mar 23 14:29:04 UTC 2007

Thanks, Amy.  I'm afraid that the person who
asked me my have been in the "critical theory"
context (she has limited English, so I would need
to read her passage myself), but I can give her
this information and a reference to Terry
Eagleton and "Lacanian/feminist literary criticism".


At 3/23/2007 10:00 AM, you wrote:
>>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 ëroyalí gaze"
>Gee, there might be a legal sense here.
>>   "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 ..."
>I'd read this as literal/s.e.
>>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"?]
>Yes, I think so.
>>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.
>I think it's the critical theory use of gaze
>going on here. Though I'm tempted to say it's
>playing with a legal sense of "royal gaze" as
>>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]
>I think it's again a critical theory use here in the art ones as well.
>I hope that helps somewhat. I don't think I can
>articulate what is meant by "gaze" in critical
>theory at this point since it's been so many
>years since my class in it, and I've since
>unloaded those books. You might check an overview
>of critical theory, like the one by Terry
>Eagleton, or a handbook of some sort.
>---Amy West
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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