Fondazione Antonio Ratti

Olivier Schefer

Romanticism and Horror Films: How Dreams Became (Again) a Somatic Matter – Dream of Insomnia Workshop

17 February 2012
FAR – Villa Sucota

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Olivier Schefer, The Overflowing of Dreams into Real Life, Pathological Imagination, text, Download (PDF)

The possible and-or impossible representation of dreams is one of the most important issues in the romantic aesthetic, which endeavours, long before Surrealism, to connect dreams to the so-called real world. Nerval talked, in his latest short novel, Aurelia, about the «overflowing» of dreams in real life. Olivier Schefer's lecture investigated the nature of this connection (identity? crisis?) through the organic metaphor and the «pathologizing fantasy» (Novalis) of romanticism - art and medicine were deeply bounded at that time.
Several contemporary horror films are echoes and amplifications of this somatic fantasy which understands both dream and nightmare as disorders of bodies and identities.

Olivier Schefer is a writer and philosopher. He is a professor of the Philosophy of art at the University of Paris I, Sorbonne. He has translated and edited many German romantic writings, philosophical fragments by Novalis in particular. He is the author of a biography of Novalis (Novalis, Le Félin, 2011), and of two (autobiographical) essays: the first about insomnia, Variations nocturnes (Vrin, 2008), the latest related to the representations of zombies and ghosts in cinema, literature and philosophy, Des revenants. Corps, lieux, images (Bayard, 2009).

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