Downcast Eyes: The Denigration of Vision in Twentieth-Century French Thought

Martin Jay (Author)

Product Details

University of California Press
Publish Date
October 01, 1993
6.04 X 9.0 X 1.42 inches | 2.3 pounds

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About the Author

Martin Jay is Sidney Hellman Ehrman Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley. His books include Force Fields (1992), Marxism and Totality (University of California Press, 1984), Adorno (1984), and The Dialectical Imagination (1973).


"Jay's exploration of twentieth-century French attitudes to the visual is an impressive and scrupulously documented work. . . . Many of Jay's sources are canonical texts, and these he works into a persuasive synthesis."-- "Times Literary Supplement"
"The scholarship displayed in this book is dazzling. . . . [Its publication] is an extremely important intellectual event."-- "October"
"Everyone who wants to teach twentieth-century thought should own this book."-- "Journal of Modern History"
" . . . [Downcast Eyes] expands the vision of cultural studies by providing a new account of how critical theory can extend (rather than denounce) the Enlightenment and a new example of how synthetic intellectual history can contribute to (rather than impede) well-informed critical thinking."-- "Comparative Studies in Society and History"
"For all its calm observational tone, this amazing book is a sentimental journey through the history of an idea. . . ." -- "Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism"
" . . . [a] remarkable study. . . . encourages significant argument and discussion."-- "Oxford Art Journal"
"A valuable book. . . . The most powerful effect of Jay's study is to coney how beliefs about the eye and 'the gaze' (as Sartre called the objectifying vision of strangers) found coherent views about human self-understanding and political analysis. . . . Jay's magisterial history is essential reading for anyone trying to bring the intellectual life of the twentieth century into focus."-- "San Francisco Chronicle"