Affect Unchained: Violence, Voyeurism and Affection in the Art of Quentin Tarantino


In the first part of the paper the author briefly revisits two of the most important traditions that stand behind the contemporary conceptualizations of affect: the Deleuzian tradition and the Lacanian one. Having pointed to the most important features of the two lines of thinking affect, as well as to certain difficulties that arise within them, the author proceeds to offer his own simple conceptual model that would be operative in thinking about film experience. The model involves feeling, emotion and affect as three distinct phenomena; the concept of “ex-spectator” is introduced in order to account for the crucial difference between emotion and affect. In the second part of the paper, the model is tested against the later films by Quentin Tarantino. The films are presented as “affective”: by skilfully operating with “reflective images” they are able to deconstruct the subject of the ex-spectator into the split-but-real, affected self of the true spectator.


affect, Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Lacan, Quentin Tarantino, spectatorship

How to cite:

Lipszyc, Adam. “Affect Unchained: Violence, Voyeurism and Affection in the Art of Quentin Tarantino.” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 4, no. 2 (2020):  128-138. https://doi.org/10.14394/eidos.jpc.2020.0021.


Adam Lipszyc
Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences
72 Nowy Świat Street, 00-330 Warsaw, Poland


Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus: Captalism and Schizofrenia. Translated by Brian Massumi. Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 1987.

Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. What is Philosophy? Translated by Hugh Tomlison and Graham Burchell. New York: Columbia Univeristy Press, 1994.

Lacan, Jacques. Anxiety. Translated by A.R. Price. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2014.

Massumi, Brian. Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation. Durham and London: Duke Univeristy Press, 2002. https://doi.org/10.1215/9780822383574.

Soler, Colette. Lacanian Affects: The Function of Affect in Lacan’s Work. Translated by Bruce Fink. London and New York: Routledge, 2016. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315731797.

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