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Text and Image in Modern European Culture

Natasha Grigorian
Thomas Baldwin
Margaret Rigaud-Drayton
Copyright Date: 2012
Published by: Purdue University Press
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    Text and Image in Modern European Culture
    Book Description:

    Text and Image in Modern European Culture — a collected volume edited by Natasha Grigorian, Thomas Baldwin, and Margaret Rigaud-Drayton contains articles which are transnational and interdisciplinary in scope. Employing a range of innovative comparative approaches to reassess and undermine traditional boundaries between art forms and national cultures, the articles shed new light on the relations between literature and the visual arts in Europe after 1850. Following tenets of comparative cultural studies, work presented in the volume explores (international) creative dialogues between writers and visual artists, ekphrasis in literature, literature and design (fashion, architecture), hybrid texts (visual poetry, surrealist pocket museums, poetic photo-texts), and text and image relations under the impact of modern technologies (avant-garde experiments, digital poetry). The discussion encompasses pivotal fin-de-siècle, modernist, and postmodernist works and movements in Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia, and Spain. A selected bibliography of work published in the field is also included. The volume will appeal to scholars of (comparative) cultural studies, comparative literature, literature, art history, and visual studies, as well as to a wider academic public and general readers, and it would serve well as a textbook in senior undergraduate and graduate seminars.

    eISBN: 978-1-61249-241-4
    Subjects: Language & Literature, Art & Art History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Natasha Grigorian, Thomas Baldwin and Margaret Rigaud-Drayton
  4. Introduction to Text and Image in Modern European Culture
    (pp. 1-12)
    Robert Lethbridge

    The configurations of the volumeText and Image in Modern European Culture—edited by Natasha Grigorian, Thomas Baldwin, and Margaret Rigaud-Drayton—are consistent with the aims and scope of the Purdue University Press series of Books in Comparative Cultural Studies in which it appears. That is, its self-evidently com parative perspectives are inseparable from interdisciplinarity in a wider sense. Each of its articles on text and image in modern European culture operates on the cusp of two or more disciplines, including the study of literature and the visual and applied arts, as well as media and comparative cultural studies more...

  5. The Myth of Psyche in the Work of D’Annunzio and Burne-Jones
    (pp. 15-31)
    Giuliana Pieri

    Henry James described Edward Burne-Jones’s painting as an “art of culture, of reflection, of intellectual luxury, of aesthetic refinement, of people who look at the world and at life not directly, as it were, and in all its accidental reality, but in the reflection and ornamental portrait of it furnished by art itself in other manifestations” (qtd. in Spalding 16). The focus on art, beauty, and the aesthetic is also the fundamental characteristic of the work of Gabriele D’Annunzio, the ultimate Italian dandy; a flamboyant and controversial figure who dominated the Italian world of letters, culture, and fashion from his...

  6. The Symbolist Context of the Siren Motif in Moreau’s Painting and Bryusov’s Poetry
    (pp. 32-47)
    Natasha Grigorian

    So far, criticism has hardly examined the wide-ranging impact that the art of the French painter Gustave Moreau (1826-98) had on the Symbolist movement across Europe, including Russia. And yet, there are a number of parallels between Moreau’s mythological painting and the poetry of Valery Bryusov (1873-1924), one of the founders of Russian Symbolism. While it is well known that Bryusov absorbed the influence of major French Symbolist poets such as Mallarmé, Verlaine, and Rimbaud, I explore the extent to which Bryusov’s work was inspired by Moreau, providing both direct evidence for this artistic connection and an overview of the...

  7. Images of Paris in the Work of Brassaï and Miller
    (pp. 48-60)
    Caroline Blinder

    Henry Miller explores photography’s connection to the writing of the urban in his 1938 essay “The Eye of Paris.” First published inMax and the White Phagocytesand later inThe Wisdom of the Heart,the essay is homage to his friend Brassaï (aka Gyula Halász) who documented with his photographs the bars, dance halls, prostitutes, and other inhabitants of the city’s nightlife. Writing from the perspective of a fellow traveler in Paris—Miller from the US and Brassaï from Hungary—Miller establishes Brassaï as both alter ego and absolute individualist, an artist able to see the hidden value of...

  8. The Reciprocation of the Image in Two Poems by Rilke
    (pp. 63-75)
    William Waters

    Rainer Maria Rilke’sNeue Gedichte(New Poems), published in two parts in 1907 and 1908, are celebrated especially for their many “thing poems,” poems revolving around the experience of an object. The collection as a whole has often been characterized as a poetic museum, the more so because some of the best-known poems, such as “Archaïscher Torso Apollos,” manifestly refer to or imagine artworks. This view may even have become too familiar, since the many poems that do not concern “things” have tended to receive unjustly less attention than those that do. On the other hand, theNeue Gedichteare...

  9. Photography and Painting in Proust’s A la recherche du temps perdu
    (pp. 76-87)
    Thomas Baldwin

    In Marcel Proust’sLe Côté de Guermantes—the third volume ofA la recherche du temps perdu—the narrator says that names are sometimes no more than "the mere identity card photograph” (“la simple carte photographique d’identité”) that we consult in order to know whether to say hello to somebody or not: “the fairy languishes” (Remembrance2: 5) (“la fée dépérit” [A la recherche2: 311]). While this comparison of the fading fairy with a photographic identity card seems to place the photograph firmly on the side of the straightforwardly referential rather than the semantically replete, Proust’s approach to thee...

  10. Photography in Proust’s A la recherche du temps perdu
    (pp. 88-98)
    Áine Larkin

    Theorizing about photography has not led to a definitive definition of what precisely photography is, although there exists a sizable corpus of scholarship and criticism about the semiotic specificity of the photographic image as indexical icon (see Peirce), that is, as an icon dependent on the aspect of the world recorded by the apparatus. I postulate that the unique status of the photograph and photography is key to the reading of Marcel Proust’sA la recherche du temps perdu. I also submit that there is more to photography than the photograph: it is a complex image-making technology and “a series...

  11. Text and Image in Fashion Periodicals of the Second French Empire
    (pp. 101-114)
    Kate Nelson Best

    InThe Fashion System, Roland Barthes points out that the fashion text, unlike the literary text, does not have to create the object that it describes. It nevertheless provides something that the image alone cannot: “In literature, description is brought to bear upon a hidden object (whether real or imaginary): it must make that object exist. In Fashion the described object is actualized, given separately in its plastic form (if not its real form, since it is nothing other than a photograph). The functions of Fashion description are thus reduced, but also, thereby original: since it need not render the...

  12. Architecture and Utopia in Scheerbart’s Rakkóx der Billionär
    (pp. 115-130)
    Christine Angela Knoop

    In 1901, Paul Scheerbart (1863-1915) published a novel of only twenty-two pages which has remained comparatively unknown:Rakkóx der Billionär(Rakkóx the Trillionaire), the story of a mega capitalist who seeks world domination by changing the planet's surface architecturally to his own economic benefit and aesthetic pleasure. Although little appreciated or researched as an important writer of literature of the fantastic and science fiction (see, e.g., Partsch), Scheerbart triggered an interest in the relationship between written narratives and architecture. His literary images of oversized glass, crystal, and rock architecture had a considerable impact on the architects of the group Gläserne...

  13. Word and Image in Apollinaire’s “Lettre-Océan”
    (pp. 133-142)
    Margaret Rigaud-Drayton

    Through a close reading of Guillaume Apollinaire's first so-called calligram, “Lettre-Océan” (1914), I reevaluate the affective implications and complex modes of signification underlying textual spatialization. Julia Kristeva gives an account of the process of self-abjection and self-silencing underlying the birth of the “French” literary voice of immigrant writers in France, including herself, which opens avenues for thinking through the expressive ambivalence which she thinks is characteristic of these works. Giving a Lacanian slant to the attempts at self-reinvention of immigrant writers, Kristeva argues that their works exhibit their archaic, devalued, “body in pieces” and silent, silenced, or unutterable original language...

  14. Text-Image Relations in French and Spanish Surrealist Literary Reviews from the 1920s and 1930s
    (pp. 143-156)
    Alicia Kent

    In May 2006, the exhibitionUndercover Surrealism: Picasso, Miró, Masson and the Vision of Georges Batailleopened at the Hayward Gallery in London. The exhibition centered on the review Documents, which was based in Paris and published over fifteen issues from 1929 to 1930. The aim of the exhibition was “to reflect the visual aesthetic of the review itself, juxtaposing different kinds of objects to cut across conventional hierarchies, grouping paintings, ethnographic objects, films, photographs, sculpture or crime magazines in relation to the key strategies and ideas in Documents” (Ades and Bradley 15). Some objects were grouped in proximity to...

  15. How to Read a Poetic Photo-Text
    (pp. 157-170)
    Joanna Madloch

    While the term “phototextuality” has emerged to describe works which juxtapose literature and photography, its definition remains unclear. Marsha Bryant describes the term “photo-text” as a book “composed of photographs and words” (11). According to Jefferson Hunter, who views phototextuality in a broader perspective, the term “photo-text” “covers a range of authorial situations: writer and photographer working together, thereby collaborating; writer and photographer brought together by an editor; writer captioning, introducing, linking, or otherwise meditating on already published photographs; and photographer illustrating an already published text” (39). Similarly, François Soulages contemplates various authorial situations of photo-texts and asks questions about...

  16. Constructivist and Futurist Multimedia Experiments in Russian Poetry
    (pp. 173-183)
    Svetlana Nikitina

    Russia in the 1910s and 1920s was a major participant in the modernist movement of Europe and experimentation in art coincided with a radical rethinking of the existing social order, a revamping of the old political system, and a shake-up of an entire way of life. Futurist and constructivist movements were at the forefront of this experiment, which included the invention of new multimedia modes of creative expression blending visual, verbal, tonal, and sculptural elements. Today, new media, delivered electronically as a blend of video, still images, audio, and text are beginning to define our culture. For example, the US-based...

  17. Science and Symptom from Mallarmé to the Digital Poet
    (pp. 184-198)
    Emile Fromet de Rosnay

    Since the Enlightenment, science has abandoned the search for knowledge for its own sake, embracing instead a more utilitarian quest. This “forward-looking,” instrumental orientation uses knowledge to push the limits of the known. Knowledge is a means to an end, to a future without suffering, lack, and even death. While the Socratic tradition insisted upon the “thing itself,” starting the age-old distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic knowledge, the discoveries of modern science are increasingly dependent upon technology, making it more difficult to account for our humanity and the destiny of human knowledge. What Jürgen Habermas called the “knowledge interests” (168)...

  18. Bibliography for the Study of Text and Image in Modern European Culture
    (pp. 201-212)
    Natasha Grigorian
  19. Index
    (pp. 213-216)
  20. Back Matter
    (pp. 217-217)