Article cover
Thematic focus


Georges Didi-Huberman

Published online:

01 Jul 2018



This text attempts a new genre: the aperçue – from the French verb apercevoir, seeing in passing by, voir en passant. From Baudelaire’s Passante, the aperçues inherit the rhythm of appearing and disappearing and the emotion of seeing, which only unfolds in the temporality of memory and imagination. They are related to figures of afterlife and actualization such as Warburg’s Ninfa and Freud’s Gradiva, capturing ephemeral moments in which the long and discontinuous temporality of memory – and thus also a dimension of lament for the dead – is at work. Lastly, the aperçues are a literary genre, since images – especially those we never saw before remembering them – are made visible particularly through words, as we see reading James Joyce, Henri Michaux, and Yoko Tawada.

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