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Spring 2024


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New in Historical Materialism
A Review of Flashback, Eclipse

For a recent issue of Historical Materialism, Jacopo Galimberti reviews Flashback, Eclipse by Romy Golan. Click here to learn more about the book. Click here to read the full review. An excerpt appears below:

“Golan’s title reads almost like a statement in favour of a history of art that defies a reassuring linear narrative while also avoiding the pitfalls of what François Hartog (a key interlocutor for Golan’s meditations) has dubbed ‘presentism’. If the word ‘flashback’ retains its conventional meaning in the book, and describes the sudden irruption of the past into the narrative flow, what ‘eclipse’ indicates, in temporal terms, is less clear, but the chapters suggest that it is something akin to a momentarily veiled event. It is tempting to understand ‘eclipse’ as part of the semantic field of ‘repression’, but Golan deliberately omits any references to psychoanalysis, opting instead for a terminology derived from photography and film studies. The interrelations between three key notions of the book, flashback, eclipse, and mise en abîme, are unpacked in the Introduction, ‘An eclipse, once it is recognised as such, can mask a flashback. And a flashback can include, nested in, either another flashback or an eclipse. When nested, they produce an effect of a mise en abyme’.”