By Angeline M.G. Song
This ebook is grounded in a theorization of the author's own tale together with turning out to be up as a feminine adoptee of a unmarried mum or dad in a patriarchal context, and present fabric context as an immigrant in New Zealand.
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Extra info for A Postcolonial Woman’s Encounter with Moses and Miriam
Ein Beitrag zur Ästhetik (On the Optical Sense of Form: A Contribution to Aesthetics), Vischer states:25 I entrust my individual life to the lifeless form, just as I . . do with another living person. Only ostensibly do I remain the same although the object remains another. 26 42 E nco u n t e r wi t h Mo s e s an d M i r i a m An important feature of Vischer’s notion of Einfühlung is its reciprocal aspect. In her analysis of Vischer’s idea, Juliet Koss suggests that the connection between the empathizer and the empathized object is so intense that the viewer and the object take on something of one another and both are changed in some intrinsic way.
However, even though I felt intensely for her and with her, I did not quite find myself literally being “magically transformed into this other,” as Vischer suggests. Throughout my experience, I still retained a strong sense of myself and a self–other distinction; I did not for one instant find myself being “magically transformed into” her in any way. I am deliberately making this point because in some ways, this issue lies at the heart of recent confusion over what the term “empathy” means. Initially, I wondered if Vischer had meant the fusion of the viewer and the viewed in a metaphorical sense.
I was in Paris in July 2011, and viewing an exhibition of impressionist paintings when I encountered Jean-Léon Gérôme’s extremely realistic and provocative eighteenth-century painting Marché d’esclaves (The Slave Trade). Set in the ancient oriental world, it depicts a naked young woman being examined by a group of fully clothed male traders; one of them, presumably her potential buyer, was pressing his fingers against her teeth apparently to check her dental state, and it struck me then with a crude, rude force, that in his and the eyes of the other traders, she was merely a commodity.