Ekphrasis essay pdf
that will not be in the text. For the tradition of literary pictorialism, Homer's set-piece certifies the ancient pedigree of ekphrasis and provides a model for poetic language in the service of pictorial representation. 35) But Shelley would not have needed to go to Burke to compose his image; Medusa was, as Neil Hertz has shown, a popular emblem of Jacobinism and was often displayed (figure B)as a figure of "French Liberty" in opposition to "English Liberty personified. It would be easy to show its place in a wide range of literary theorizing, from the Marxist hostility to modernist experiments with literary space, to deconstructionist efforts to overcome "formalism" and "closure to the anxieties of Protestant poetics with the temptations of "imagery. In the mirror, though no one can say. From the foreword to Michel de Certeau's Heterologies: Discourse on the Other (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1989. "Ekphrasis and the Other". More typical, however, is the use of ekphrasis as a model for the power of literary art to achieve formal, structural patterns and to represent vividly a wide range of perceptual experiences, most notably the experience of vision. The strange irreality of these "gifts" does not, of course, prevent us from giving them and from thinking of the whole ekphrastic gesture as a kind of ritual of exchange. It took dominion everywhere.
Francoise Meltzer, Salome and the Dance of Writing: Portraits of Mimesis in Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987. 22 Even "description" itself, the most general form of ekphrasis, has, as Gerard Genette has demonstrated, only a kind of phantom existence at the level of the signifier: "the differences which separate description and narration are differences of content, which, strictly speaking, have no semiological.
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All of the distinctions between the sublime and the beautiful, the aesthetics of pain and pleasure, or of the masculine and the feminine, that might allow ekphrasis to confine itself to the contemplation of beauty are subverted by the image of Medusa. The "otherness" of visual representation from the standpoint of textuality may be anything from a professional competition (the paragone of poet and painter) to a relation of political, disciplinary, or cultural domination in which the "self" is understood to be an active, speaking, seeing subject. It also has to do with a sense of the function of the shield as an emblem of the entire structure of the Iliad ; the shield is now understood as an image of the entire Homeric world-order, the technique of "ring composition" and geometrical. Whiteness, by contrast, is invisible, unmarked; it has no racial identity, but is equated with a normative subjectivity and humanity from which "race" is a visible deviation. The "genre" of ekphrasis is distinguished, the skeptic might point out, not by any disturbance or dissonance at the level of signifiers and representational media, but by a possible reference to or thematizing of this sort of dissonance. Marc Eli Blanchard, "World of the Seven Cubit Spear. Ah, yes-below the knees, since the tune drops that way, it is one of those white summer days, the tall grass of your ankles flickers upon the shore- speech essay spm how to reduce environmental problems Which shore?- the sand clings to my lips- Which shore? 30 That is why forms of resistance to these stereotypes so often take the form of disruptions at the level of representation, perception, and semiosis: Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man is not "empirically" unseen; he refuses visibility as an act of insubordination.
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