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The Rhythm of ThoughtArt, Literature, and Music after Merleau-Ponty$
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Jessica Wiskus

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226030920

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226031088.001.0001

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Cézanne: Depth in the World

Cézanne: Depth in the World

(p.53) 5 Cézanne: Depth in the World
The Rhythm of Thought

Jessica Wiskus

University of Chicago Press

This chapter discusses the line—the same one described by Debussy in the previous chapter—and how much it can accomplish outside the realm of music and into the visual arts. The traditional function of the line in a drawing or painting appears to be that of containment. It works to keep an object within bounds, as if an outline were actually the object’s own fixed end or beginning. The line has the effect of defining the edge between the object and the general volume of space, separating the object from the space that would threaten to envelop it. In the work of Cézanne, however, no fixed outline exists. The function of the line here is not to contain volume; rather, the line serves as a membrane through which a certain depth or volume radiates.

Keywords:   line, music, visual arts, containment, Cézanne, depth, volume

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