PRINT April 1992


Ida Panicelli

Our everyday reality is held together by a theater of glances. Of all the organs of the senses, it is surely the eye that is solicited, aroused, titillated, and assaulted the most, and that absorbs the most varied stimuli, from the erotic to the intellectual. Not only images but words penetrate us through our eyes—in reading, that is in decoding, the primal act of incorporating the world as a mental image. In Greek mythology, the watchman Argus had a hundred eyes scattered over his body, and never closed all of them at the same time. Similarly, with Chevalier-Gheerbrant, we must admit that “existence is absorbed from the external world, in a vigilance that is always directed toward the outside”—even as we recognize that the constant flow of images that bombards us every day may in the long run weaken our sensitivity to them.

In this issue we have addressed looking, the primary act on which

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