Ghosts of Proof in the Mind’s Eye
DOI link for Ghosts of Proof in the Mind’s Eye
Ghosts of Proof in the Mind’s Eye book
This chapter begins by considering the theatrical and cinematic aspects of the mind, regarding the brain’s evolved anatomy and its “extelligence” of culture (Stewart and Cohen), thus summarizing parts of my recent book, Ghosts of Theatre and Cinema in the Brain. I will then perform a close reading of Proof, a play and film about mental illness, mathematical genius, and patriarchal ghosts, to discern how stage and screen media continue the evolution of human higher-order consciousness, through spectral illusions that also have effects in the Real. How do Proof’s ghosts affect the theatre and film viewer differently-given the changes made from stage to screen and the positioning of the spectator, as a phantom also, through such choices? As in my recent book, I will use both cognitive neuroscience and Lacanian psychoanalysis.1 I hope this will suggest a bridge across the current divide between modernist essentialism and postmodern relativism in theories of
performative subjectivity.2 For the current, neomodernist concern with essential structures in cognitive theories of theatre and film-often set against Lacanian influenced poststructuralism-might benefit from a broader view combining both approaches, especially regarding the ghostly expressions of the mind’s theatre.