Those boots by van Gogh


  • Miloš Kučera Pedf


boots by Van Gogh, J. Lacan, M. Heidegger, M. Schapiro, J. Derrida, sexuality, pair, Heidegger’s widow


Those boots by van Gogh. – J. Lacan’s interpretation: these shoes are moving from the decay to the organic rebirth, in the opposite direction than things in the still-life genre. Looking at the picture, I had a vision: A man, a woman, long way behind. Miracle: this effect is obtained by rather realistic portrait of boots, not by caricatural comics.

Heiddegger sees therein shoes of a peasant woman: without describing the picture he speaks about her life and feelings, in nationalistic rhetorics of soil.

Schapiro objects against, this be a fanciful projection of Heidegger’s beliefs. The painting represents Van Gogh’s own shoes from the town, his identification with them, approaching a self-portrait.

Derrida, among other things, criticizes Schapiro for misunderstanding of Heidegger, who has written not a description of the picture, but (my words) rather a verbal, poetic equivalent of the picture. As for the pair of shoes, he makes a lot of combinations: e. g., perharps it is not a couple, but a single shoe with its Doppelgänger!

Nevertheless, the gender is striking here: was Van Gogh meditating about man and woman by means of left and right (shoe)?

The sexual theme is present also in Heidegger: why had he choosen a peasant woman, and not a man? The image of a peasant widow emerges from his pathetic text. Heidegger introduces to her two notions, the world and the earth, with dialectics like between male and female principle. (The sexuality is aufgehoben on a higher and nationalistic level.)