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New interdisciplinary essays on literature and the visual arts

This book offers a comprehensive reassessment of ekphrasis: the verbal representation of visual art. In the past twenty-five years numerous books and articles have appeared covering different aspects of ekphrasis, with scholars arguing that it is a fundamental means by which literary artists have explored the nature of aesthetic experience. However, many critics continue to rely upon the traditional conception of ekphrasis as a form of paragone (competition) between word and image. This interdisciplinary collection seeks to complicate this critical paradigm, and proposes a more reciprocal model of ekphrasis that involves an encounter or exchange between visual and textual cultures. This critical and theoretical shift demands a new form of ekphrastic poetics, which is less concerned with representational and institutional struggles, and more concerned with ideas of ethics, affect, and intersubjectivity. The book brings together leading scholars working in the fields of literary studies, art history, modern languages, and comparative literature, and offers a fresh exploration of ekphrastic texts from the Renaissance to the present day. The chapters in the book are critically and methodologically wide-ranging; yet they share an interest in challenging the paragonal model of ekphrasis that has been prevalent since the early 1990s, and establishing a new set of theoretical frameworks for exploring the ekphrastic encounter.

Ekphrasis and mortality in Andrew Marvell
Keith McDonald

relationship with the general was an ekphrastic encounter that staged the interplay between the verbal and the visual to renegotiate personal and political perspectives. Having previously framed his suspicions about Cromwell in an Ode form derived from Horace, Marvell turns to another of Horace’s dictums, ut pictura poesis, to speak as the voice of Cromwell and, at the same time, privately reassess his own vision of the would-be Protector. Around the late summer of 1653, Marvell penned two short poems in Latin, ‘In Effigiem Oliveri Cromwell’ and ‘In eandem Reginae Sueciae

in Ekphrastic encounters
Ekphrasis and Laocoön digressions in the novel
Catriona MacLeod

5 Blind spots of narration? Ekphrasis and Laocoön digressions in the novel Catriona MacLeod Gotthold Ephraim Lessing’s Laocoön essay of 1766 has long been understood as a pivotal moment in the classical demarcation of the spatializing properties of plastic arts, its dwelling in and on ‘the frozen moment’, versus the temporal or narrative properties of literature.1 In a departure from long-standing theories of equivalence or convertibility between visual and verbal arts (such as the soonto-be-eclipsed ut pictura poesis tradition), Lessing insisted, via a

in Ekphrastic encounters
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John Dryden’s Absalom and Achitophel and historical allegory
Noelle Gallagher

Ut pictura poesis: erit quae, si proprius stes, Te capiat magis, et quaedum, si longius abstes. Horace, Ars Poetica Horace’s famous comparison between poetry and painting served as the basis for the ut pictura poesis

in Historical literatures
Jonathan Richardson’s ekphrastic ‘Dissertation’ on Poussin’s Tancred and Erminia
Jason Lawrence

need to consider the marked impact of recent European works on the nascent development of art criticism in England.1 Du Fresnoy’s poem opens with an acknowledgement of the classical paragone between the sibling arts of painting and poetry by alluding to Horace’s famous dictum directly: UT PICTURA POESIS ERIT; similisque Poesi Sit Pictura, refert par æmula quæq; sororem, Alternantque vices & nomina; muta Poesis Dicitur hæc, Pictura loquens solet illa vocari. (Painting and Poesy are two Sisters, which are so like in all things, that they mutually lend to each other

in Ekphrastic encounters
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Edmund Waller, Andrew Marvell, and the advice-to-a-painter poem
Noelle Gallagher

broadsides, ultimately finding their way into homes, coffee houses, booksellers’ shops, and other public places. 15 As their title suggests, advice-to-a-painter poems invoked an ut pictura poesis tradition that aligned poetry with painting. 16 Focusing primarily on recent events and public persons, such works usually took their frame of reference from the style of emblematic

in Historical literatures
Ekphrastic encounters in Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy
Richard Meek

modern encounters see Jean H. Hagstrum, The Sister Arts: The Tradition of Literary Pictorialism and English Poetry from Dryden to Gray (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1958), pp. 66–70. See also Clark Hulse, The Rule of Art: Literature and Painting in the Renaissance (Chicago, IL and London: University of Chicago Press, 1990) and Christopher Braider, ‘The Paradoxical Sisterhood: “Ut Pictura Poesis”’, in Glyn P. Norton (ed.), The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism, Volume 3: The Renaissance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), pp. 168–75.  2

in Ekphrastic encounters
Raymond Pettibon’s drawing-writing
Tilo Reifenstein

perceptible objets d’art (ut pictura poesis)’, or Murray Krieger’s ‘the imitation in literature of a work of plastic art’, appears to always already imply an oppositionality between language and sensuous perceptibility and especially language and visuality/visibility.1 Implicitly, any of these definitions makes language a purely intellectual matter, forgoing the necessity of sensory perception: to hear words being spoken, to read – namely, to see – sentences being written, to feel the embossing of Braille cells. Literature and language in this sense are removed from any

in Ekphrastic encounters
Ekphrasis, readers, ‘iconotexts’
Claus Clüver

’s phrase, reinforced in the same year by W. J. T. Mitchell, reflected the traditional restriction of the objects of ekphrastic representation to visual representations of the phenomenal world in paintings, graphic works, or sculptures.5 The discourse was supported by the misconstrued Horatian phrase ut pictura poesis and the idea of the ‘sister arts’, buoyed by the ancient saying attributed to Simonides of Ceos that painting is silent poetry and poems, speaking pictures. Krieger had emphasized the contrasting view based on Leonardo da Vinci’s sense of a paragone among

in Ekphrastic encounters
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Rosalind Powell

, in The Seasons , pp. 2–57. See Chapter 5 , pp. 212–3, for a discussion of Thomson’s descriptions of subjective, variable perception in The Seasons . 38 A number of critics have dealt with the accuracy of Kent’s illustration: Michèle Plaisant notes that, with the influence of Newton apparent throughout The Seasons , Kent’s choice of the rainbow for the engraving is no coincidence. Michèle Plaisant, ‘“Ut pictura poesis”: lumière et ombres dans les Saisons de Thomson

in Perception and analogy