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By David F. Lindenfeld

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Extra info for The Transformation of Positivism: Alexius Meinong and European Thought, 1880-1920

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It is unlikely that an analysis like the one Emile Male worked out for the pre-ceding epochs, especially apropos of the theme of death, could be repeated. Between word and image, between what is depicted by language and what is uttered by plastic form, the unity begins to dissolve; a single and identical meaning is not immediately common to them. And if it is true that the image still has the function of speaking, of transmitting something consubstanrial with language, we must recognize that it already no longer says the same thing; and that by its own plastic values painting engages in an experiment that will take it farther and farther from language, whatever the superficial identity of the theme.

Interest in cure and in exclu-sion coincide: madmen were confined in the holy locus of a miracle. It is possible that the village of Gheel developed in this manner-a shrine that became a ward, a holy land where madness hoped for deliverance, but where man enacted, according to old themes, a sort of ritual division. What matters is that the vagabond madmen, the act of driving them away, their departure and embarkation do not assume their entire significance on the plane of social utility or security.

The elements are now reversed. It is no longer the end of time and of the world which will show retrospectively that men were mad not to have been prepared for them; it is the tide of madness, its secret invasion, that shows that the world is near its final catastrophe; it is man's insanity that invokes and makes necessary the world's end. In its various forms-plastic or literary-this experience of madness seems extremely coherent. Painting and text constantly refer to one another-commentary here and il-lustration there.

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