Document Type

Thesis

Date of Degree

Spring 2015

Degree Name

MFA (Master of Fine Arts)

Degree In

Book Arts

First Advisor

Julia Leonard

Second Advisor

Sara Langworthy

Abstract

The purpose of my thesis project, A View of Affect has been two fold: to engage closely with an early modern book, and to experiment with the idea that self-examination as a legitimate way to gain knowledge about the body. Working with Robert Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, (1621) has opened to view the extensive constellation of ideas that were part of the philosophical universe of the time. I engaged with the Anatomy of Melancholy by immersing myself in the prose, responding to Burton's writing with my own writing. I also studied and made drawings from early modern anatomical illustrations, and I drew shapes found in nature that seemed analogous to shapes in the body. All the while, I relied firmly on my own observations. The shapes found in nature, and the line quality in the early modern prints influenced my drawings, but I only drew what I saw. A View of Affect is not a historical model, but I did fully embrace Burton's belief in the importance of direct observation. The purpose of my treatise on the how emotions exist and function in the body is not to specify what is there for others, but to encourage readers to look carefully at their own internal life.

Public Abstract

The purpose of my thesis project, A View of Affect has been two fold: to engage closely with an early modern book, and to experiment with the idea that self-examination as a legitimate way to gain knowledge about the body. Working with Robert Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy, (1621) has opened to view the extensive constellation of ideas that were part of the philosophical universe of the time. I engaged with the Anatomy of Melancholy by immersing myself in the prose, responding to Burton’s writing with my own writing. I also studied and made drawings from early modern anatomical illustrations, and I drew shapes found in nature that seemed analogous to shapes in the body. All the while, I relied firmly on my own observations. The shapes found in nature, and the line quality in the early modern prints influenced my drawings, but I only drew what I saw. A View of Affect is not a historical model, but I did fully embrace Burton’s belief in the importance of direct observation. The purpose of my treatise on the how emotions exist and function in the body is not to specify what is there for others, but to encourage readers to look carefully at their own internal life.

Keywords

publicabstract, Book Arts, Book History

Pages

vi, 10 pages

Copyright

Copyright 2015 Leslie Smith

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