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Dark WritingGeography, Performance, Design$
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Paul Carter

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824832469

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824832469.001.0001

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Dark Writing: The Body’s Inscription in History’s Light

Dark Writing: The Body’s Inscription in History’s Light

(p.228) Chapter 8 Dark Writing: The Body’s Inscription in History’s Light
Dark Writing

Paul Carter

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter studies three instances in which the absence of the body is noted. In each case, the remedy is not to represent the body but to trace its absence. In the first case, the novelist Charles Morgan meditates on the handwriting of an unknown girl. In the second, the trace of the environment is found in the early photographs of Henry Fox Talbot. Finally, the paradox of tomb paintings is considered: What does it mean to paint images of the living and to bury them out of sight (in the dark) with the departed? In all three cases, the absent body is conjured up through a concomitant act of production.

Keywords:   Charles Morgan, Henry Fox Talbot, tomb paintings, absent body, production

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