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Jalal Toufic: Reading, Rewriting Poe's "The Oval Portrait"

Hatje Cantz Verlag GmbH & Co. KG
Artists' Books
15 × 21 × 0.3 cm

Number 011 in the series: Documenta 13: 100 Notizen – 100 Gedanken (100 Notes – 100 Thoughts)

In the second edition of his book (Vampires): An Uneasy Essay on the Undead in Film (2003), Jalal Toufic notes: “I was for years concerned with schizophrenia and with schizophrenics, who appeared in my Credits Included: A Video in Red and Green, 1995; and I am now interested in ‘the little girl,’ whom I expect to appear in my coming vampire film. . . . At one level, the Thirteenth Series in Gilles Deleuze’s The Logic of Sense, 1969, ‘The Schizophrenic and the Little Girl,’ can thus be retrospectively viewed as a program for the work of a decade on my part.” In this new essay, he writes on the portrait of the pubescent girl, including in Poe’s “The Oval Portrait.” “The successful portrait of a pubescent girl is not a rite of passage but a rite of non-passage; what needs a rite is not passage, which is the natural state (at least for historical societies), but non-passage, the radical differentiation between the before, in this case a pubescent girl, and the after, a woman.” From the portrait of the pubescent girl, Toufic moves to the portrait in general and its paradigmatic relation to the angel; thus the title of this notebook: Reading, Rewriting Poe’s “The Oval Portrait”—Angelically.


  1. Jalal Toufic: Reading, Rewriting Poe’s “The Oval Portrait“

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