The matter with de Clérambault: on the Baroque obscene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In Gilles Deleuze's terms, the Baroque is not limitable to a particular historical period of art, but instead manifests more a mode of thinking, an operation of traits. The fold, for him, is its persistent figure, and it is in an attempt to investigate the meanings and proliferations of Deleuze's attention to that form that this article turns to an interpretation of G. G. de Clérambault, an early-twentieth-century psychiatrist for whom drapery possessed especially potent fascinations. Interested in particular in the undulations of display, spectacle, and concealment that the concept of drapery contains, the article brings three broader contexts to its analysis: the pleasures of deception afforded by the cinema; the spirit-world material, or “stuff,” of ectoplasm séances and their often theatrical stagings; and, lastly, in reference to Deleuze's mentioning of an “Islamic Baroque,” the operations of veiling.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-67
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Baroque
  • de Clérambault
  • Deleuze
  • Surface
  • Matter
  • Fabric
  • Drapery


Dive into the research topics of 'The matter with de Clérambault: on the Baroque obscene'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this