Wednesday, 11 August 2010

visor effect

The armour, this 'costume' which no stage production will ever be able to leave out, we see it cover from head to foot, in Hamlet's eyes, the supposed body of the father. We do not know whether it is or is not part of the spectral apparition. This protection is rigorously problematic (problema is also a shield) for it prevents perception from deciding on the identity that it wraps so solidly in its carapace. The armour may be but the body of a real artifact, a kind of technical prosthesis, a body foreign to the spectral body that it dresses, dissimulates, and protects, masking even its identity. The armour lets one see nothing of the spectral body, but at the level of the head and beneath the visor, it permits the so-called father to see and to speak. Some slits are cut into it and adjusted so as to permit him to see without being seen, but to speak in order to be heard. The helmet, like the visor, did not merely offer protection: it topped off the coat of arms and indicated the chief's authority, like the blazon of his nobility.

Derrida/ Specters of Marx p8

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