In considering Mieke Bal’s Quoting Caravaggio as a resource for coming to grips with the potential for stating some of the potential of drawing to create and recognise abstract narrative levels or at least abstraction levels that can be narrated to the degree that conversely narrative can be abstracted one is lead definitely to the latter event in her preparations out of which one comes to realize narratology places distinctions for realizing point of view. Particularly attractive is the concept of focalization: paraphrased towards drawing I will put it as: non focalized refering looking over previous knowledge from the accumulated vantage points, ( a sense of how a style has been interpeted) focalized, internally focused is copying a drawing and externally focused is approaching a master as it were, trying to learn from them as a source that knows more than you. Drawing of course is often a proposal into other media but in and of itself it loves projects, it serves therefore as a kind of concept fragment because so open to permutation.
The notes on narrative which I adapted towards drawing did not actually come out of her book Quoting Carravagio ( which is what this article is about- did I mention that?)…but her previous writings provide this backgrounding as she summarises, in this case Genett… Why quote Caravaggio- who left no drawings- you ask? Doesnt matter- drawing is principle- as Cezzanne said-:” the painter draws as they go along”… the evolution from point to line to plane to mass is drawing… if one can believe Klee of the Thinking Eye…
The concept of fragment need some review tho- because it impacts on her presentation of Deleuze who in turn accounts for Leibnitz through reference to the fold. On my own authority I simply direct attention to similarity between Leibnitz and Heraclitus… the attunement that turns back on itself like that of the bow and the lyre( from which one may expropolate for example the relation between exploit, and its telling). The Heraclitean fragments involve a sense of natural cycle as it is poeticaly related to social, physical and psychic resources, which then become quite the mirror to Leibnitzes nomadic modads or levels of the soul as they enfold and relate material to mind via an intuition of position mentally as one slips between classifications and finds a wholeness. Heraclitus described this as a willy nilly process of coming and going, there fore the destruction of his document and its recording in individual quottions now open to one to put together as one will is the perfect expression of his own philosophy. The Deleuze quote continues a lot of this momentum : “Moving from a branching of inflection , we distinguish a point that is no longer what runs along inflection itself, It is the one in which the lines perpendicular to tangents meet in a state of variation. It is not exactly a point but a place, a position, a site, a “linear focus”, a line emanating from lines. To the degree it represents variation or inflection,it can be called a point of view.
Bal quotes this at a variant” she says ” (“variations of inflection”) thus placed in the object, this point of view is emphatically not a subjective relativism….”
So this pair come to view: Deleuze “a variation or inflection” vs. ” variation of inflection. ( misquote)
so what is to make of this misenpage…? I think there is a big difference here in that the Deleuze proper quote has a lot of levels:” represents”- variation/or inflection as option, or combination, and ” can be called” -” point of view” and also “degree” that last of which call to mind entropy or the measure of degree a system can withstand change. The Bal version implies variations already in motion like a musical script the violinist has some lattitude with. I dont believe the misquote at all repressents the levels potential the actual quote provokes to reason.
The Deleuze quote gives an intutive equivelant to the way western hatch represents the long axis being a mirror of the transverse axis, and a slight shift from the wrapping of line turning successively towards mass in the sinuous interpretation Caravaggio was all about- his philosophy of drawing which allowed him to represent all natural forms in a resourcing to principle he derived from disecting cadavers.
How to extrapolate levels of drawing from all this?…. I believe Deleuze is giving an account of a perspective object rather than a perspective field, like for example the skiffs of Eakins are persopective objects, and that moreover his underlying metaphor was the lense, ie the sense of a sphere that replaces the Baroque labyrinth and in a way cuts the Baroque knot which establishes movement in mind and matter as metalevels similar to ectacty , a kind of movement in place. The drawing then which the Baroque artists placed on paper once established to the painting itself as a philosophic object in turn made the paper drawing also a class of object now altered again to this new sense of philosophy towards which its portability then requires another explanation and that is where we are at – with some preliminary definition put out by Robert Smithson…