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Modern Ekphrasis explores the analogical relations between modern poetry and painting in ekphrasis from Horace’s mimetic ut pictura poesis tradition to Lessing’s temporal/spatial antithesis, and the analogy’s post-modern deconstruction with Derrida. The genesis of ekphrasis is demonstrated by close analytical readings of modern poems by Howard Nemerov, W.C. Williams, Sylvia Plath, and John Ashbery, mostly written on modern paintings by Paul Klee, Charles Demuth, Giorgio de Chirico, and Frank Stella. In an innovative approach, the author applies Anton Ehrenzweig’s concept of unconscious scanning to a syncretic visualisation of Klee’s Mountain Flora. Viewed with an undifferentiated depth vision that can fix the figure and background in a single glance, Mountain Flora acquires deeper verisimilitude.
The self-reflexivity of the poems which comments on their creative processes and the interrelations of ekphrasis with cognition are analysed after the critical writings of Freud, Panowsky, Gombrich, Hagstrum, Arnheim, Steiner, Ehrenzweig, Derrida, and in the light of the latest neuroscientific discoveries. Homer’s shield, Swift’s tree, W.C. Williams’ pot of flowers, and Ashbery’s canvas create a suture within the ekphrastic poem in our imagination. This book demonstrates the evolution of literature and the humanities in our society from classicism to post-modernism which counteracted the self-alienation caused by our modern communication technology by inventing new socio-artistic circuits and new social identities
gives the action unity. Literary works represent different types of temporality which may be sequential, linear, cyclical, and/or condensed. In modern novels, in which the spatio-temporal continuum is disrupted, the time-space perception is not apprehended by the reader, so that the perception of work’s unity may depend on the absence of these phenomena and on the reader’s shifting perception. Lessing’s distinction was founded on the classical axiom that both poetry and painting are arts of
projecting them tentatively onto a framed view.30 Both the viewer and the painter, who perceive a painting and creates a work of art, use their memories, and traverse a process of trial and error, of perceptive and cognitive experimentation; but their starting point is inverted. The painter delves into his memory and his knowledge of paintings he has seen, to transform and project their contents into his canvas whereas the viewer tests those contents against his perceptions and his cognition of
provides the general subject matter, there are some similarities and some dissimilarities between the painting and the poem. In the opening stanza, Williams subtly suggests that the flowers are coloured by a lamplight which brightens up certain colours and forms while others remain in darkness. The lamp is absent from the painting. Williams cites a single pot of flowers whereas in “Tuberoses” there are three. Williams’ ekphrastic poem does not describe the flowers precisely as they are
hearing, and the circularity between speech and hearing, ensure the transition between mind and nature, externality and interiority; analogically, the frame and the signature, ensure an external presence within the limited interiority of the frame. Through the concept of “exemplorality”, Derrida links the mouth’s orality, that incorporates, assimilates, and transforms everything to autoaffection. Psychoanalytically, Derrida’s concept of exemplorality would signify a narcissistic regression into
symbolic behavior, expression, signification) no essential difference between texts and images; … there are important differences between visual and verbal media at the level of sign-types, forms, materials of representation, and institutional traditions. … A phenomenological (statement) would start … from the basic relationship of the self (as a speaking and seeing subject) and the other (a seen and silent object) … (Panowsky’s opening move into the discipline of “iconology” as a discourse on