The book, the body and architectural history in Peter Greenaway's cinematography

Horuz, Semra
This thesis is an attempt to explore the “axis of innumerable relationships” of the book which Jorge Luis Borges touches upon. In doing this, it deals with the questions of “whats”, “whos”, “whens” and “wheres” of the reading activity. While scrutinizing these aspects of reading, the main concern is to reach the “whys” and “hows” of it. Referring to Roger Chartier’s definition of reading, there are three main components of this activity, as the content of the book, the material form of the book and the practice itself and they are aimed to be analyzed in detail. In this context, the questions of “wheres” and “whens” and their various answers create an intertwined area of history of reading and history of architecture. Within this theoretical framework, the scope of the thesis is shaped by Peter Greenaway’s cinematography. The questions of “who reads/writes what book”, “where and when” are searched in the director’s three films; The Cook, the Thief, his Wife and her Lover (1989), Prospero's Books (1991) and The Pillow Book (1996) by devoting one chapter to each film. Accordingly, the question of “who” orients the study to the bodies of the books/readers/writers, and those of “where” and “when” to architectural history. In connection to the director’s multidisciplinary interests, the thesis seeks to trace how this topic is intertwined not only with history of architecture but also with the history of art and literature. Hence, it is an attempt to utilize Greenaway’s cinematography as a tool to juxtapose the two/three dimensional representations of the book, the body and the spaces onto each other.


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Citation Formats
S. Horuz, “The book, the body and architectural history in Peter Greenaway’s cinematography,” M.A. - Master of Arts, Middle East Technical University, 2010.