his opposition to modernism’s rejection of the referentiality of pictures, its insistence on the gap between the picture and the word. As he stresses he is
convinced that, like his own drawings, ‘toute peinture, même la plus abstraite, contient
du récit’.3 Does he mean by this that every painting or drawing is preceded by
thought which necessarily expresses itself via language? In this light it makes little
difference whether the author is interrogating a narrative in the form of a text
or of a picture.
Not so for his audience. An ‘iconotext’ (i.e. a text
Music is the familiar, reassuring realm to which the distressed bride
tries to go back after her visit to the bloody chamber: ‘I thought […]
that I could create a pentacle out of music that would keep me from
harm for, if my music had first ensnared him, then might it not also
give me the power to free myself from him?’ (Carter, 1995: 133). As
such, it becomes a talisman or even a pentagram, a drawing: in spite of
its temporal quality, it delimits a space, a magic area in which she tries
to feel safe. She even wishes it could become
text both from the place where that illustration appears and from
textual and cultural knowledge further afield. For discussion of
this term, and the related concept of ‘iconotext’, see Peter Wagner,
Reading Iconotexts: From Swift to the French Revolution (London:
Reaktion, 1995), pp. 11–13.
3 Blanch and Wasserman, From Pearl to Gawain, pp. 65–110. This
chapter is an extremely rich study of the iconographical and gestural
position of the work of the treatment of hands both in the Gawainpoet’s works and in wider manuscript illustration.
4 For instance, he dries