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Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies / Revue de l'Association Internationale de Sémiotique

Editor-in-Chief: Danesi, Marcel

6 Issues per year

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Crossing borders: Towards a cognitive aesthetic approach to Caravaggio and Beckett

Dario Del Degan
Published Online: 2005-10-13 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/semi.2005.2005.157.1-4.65


When conducting interart studies, difficulty arises comparing art forms due to differences in discourse between genres. The problem becomes compounded when certain art works extend their mode of communication beyond the boundaries of their genre. Interpreting such works tends to result in subjectivist readings that cannot be justified according to any predetermined analytical model. Rather than negating the subjective response, this article proposes that an artwork is realized within the mind. In examining critical responses to Caravaggio’s painting ‘Beheading of St. John the Baptist’ and Beckett’s play ‘Not I’ according to a cognitive aesthetic, one discovers a rationale for considering the painting as stimulating a feeling of motion while the play evokes a feeling of stasis, contrary to their respective genres.

Published Online: 2005-10-13

Published in Print: 2005-10-18

Citation Information: Semiotica. Volume 2005, Issue 157, Pages 65–82, ISSN (Online) 1613-3692, ISSN (Print) 0037-1998, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/semi.2005.2005.157.1-4.65, October 2005

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