Perfectionism, Therapy and the Everyday: on Cavell on Makavejev

Rastislav Dinić


A substantial strand in the interpretations of the films of Dušan Makavejev foregrounds the juxtaposition between ordinary life and public perfectionist strivings, and argues that the director takes the side of the former against the latter. A reference to Stanley Cavell, the philosopher to whom we owe some canonical interpretations of Makavejev, appears to be crucial in those readings. However, both Cavell’s and Makavejev’s views on the matters of the everyday are far more complex than the prevailing dichotomous readings suggest. It is my view that the critics who came after Cavell significantly diluted the complexity of his arguments on the everyday, which are not limited only to his writings on Makavejev, but also include his interpretations of Emerson and Wittgenstein. Hence I argue that the more nuanced reading of Cavell’s work – and not just his dwellings on Makavejev – paves the way for the more salient interpretations of the former’s work.


Article received: May 2, 2017; Article accepted: May 8, 2017; Published online: September 15, 2017

Original scholarly paper

How to cite this article: Dinić, Rastislav. "Perfectionism, Therapy and the Everyday: on Cavell on Makavejev." AM Journal of Art and Media Studies 13 (2017): 165-175. doi: 10.25038/am.v0i13.193


Dušan Makavejev, Stanley Cavell, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ludwig Wittgenstein, everyday, privacy, domesticity, nationalism

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