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By Catherine M. Soussloff

This is often the 1st e-book to research the artist's biography as a rhetorical shape and literary style instead of as an unassailable resource of truth and data.

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You know—soon. "9 This book is not about the self-representation of the artist, the selfportrait, or the autobiographical text, but in truth these visual and textual genres should be read into my arguments here, although they often are not explicitly evident. It would be nonsensical not to admit 22 / On the Threshold of Historiography that the concept of the artist in culture and its appearance in various discursive contexts, particularly art history, have always been inflected by the makers themselves.

As Nichols suggests, there can be no a priori meaning for either the genre or the auteur if both of these categories are understood to be nonuniversal or unessential. This is the state in poststructuralist approaches to film theory that have overthrown the auteur in favor of the centrality of language (a semiotics of film) or the spectator (theories of psychoanalysis in film). In both of these kinds of approaches, the analysis of discourse—the visual as a discursive field—prevails. Art historians can learn from the lessons of auteur theory in film studies.

39 Let me turn again to an example of the importance of one aspect of the early part of the biography of the artist, his naming, in order to demonstrate how this trope operates in the biographies of artists not only in the Early Modern period but later as well. 40 As he demonstrated, the use of names is an enormously important one in culture for it refers both to the body and to its place in history, or how it is individualized in history. " If the body is essential to the personal identity of the individual, as Bernard Williams argued, a name is essential to the representation of the body and the identity in historical discourse.

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