Everett’s Eidolon: The Story of an Eye

Auteur : Judith ROOF


« Poetry leads to the same place as all forms of eroticism–to the blending and fusion of separate objects. It leads us to eternity, it leads us to death, and through death to continuity. Poetry is eternity; the sun matched with the sea » (25). The image, like Bataille’s paean to poetry, matches the sun to the sea, blends and fuses separate objects, becomes another object, another point « decorporealized and transcendental, » as Everett’s poem « Of Seeing » suggests, present. Everett’s eidolon–his image of the image–is that which cuts across the eye, which interrupts the meshing of sun and sea, the crossing that makes meshing visible as such. His eidolon is a meshing, a cutting that makes the image an event, that which erupts from the cut–in language, in sound, in perspective, in space and time. This cut makes that eternity appear just as disappears, just as its stasis splits. This paper enacts Everett’s eidolon as one persistent practice of his oeuvre: of his paintings, poetry, and novels, specifically his paintings, Swimming Swimmers Swimming and Assumption.


Judith Roof is William Shakespeare Chair in English and Chair of the Department of English at Rice University. She is the author of several essays on Everett’s work and of several books on drama, gender, multi-media art and literature.

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Pour citer l'article

Judith ROOF « Everett’s Eidolon: The Story of an Eye »,
Lectures du Monde Anglophone / LMA, 1, 2015,
Percival Everett

© Publications Electroniques de l’ERIAC, 2015.

URL : http://eriac.univ-rouen.fr/everetts-eidolon-the-story-of-an-eye/