“The Body is No Body”

David L. Miller

in Apophatic Bodies

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780823230815
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235087 | DOI:

Series: Transdisciplinary Theological Colloquia

“The Body is No Body”

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The problem of the “body”, apophatically speaking, is perspectival and linguistic. It is a problem of language, a language whose nature petitions a discourse that gives quality without concretizing that value in an object. What may be needed is an apophatic (nonliteral) manner in which to speak of bodies in order that the discourse itself be apophatically “speaking away” without being less expressive. An example of this kind of discourse can be seen in the writing of Wallace Stevens, for whom poetry is such an apophatic “speaking away”. So it is with the apophatic body that is no body. It is an embodying perspective that can give valence to life and meaning, a vertical dimension in which ordinariness incandesces, flaming and flowering. The body that is no body is incandescence.

Keywords: body; language; value; Wallace Stevens; incandescence; apophatic body; poetry

Chapter.  4036 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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