2020 | 44 | 2 |
Article title

Still Ekphrasis? Visual and Non-Visual Art in Contemporary Anglophone Fiction

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The article explores the ancient notion of ekphrasis in an attempt to redefine it and to adjust it to the requirements of the contemporary literary and artistic landscape. An overview of the transformations in the world of art in the 20th century allows us to adjust our understanding of what art is today and to examine its existence within the literary context. In light of the above, I postulate a broadening of the definition of ekphrasis so as to include not only painting and sculpture on the one side, and poetry on the other, but also to open it up to less conventional forms of artistic expression, and allow for its use in reference to prose. In order to illustrate its relevance to the novel, I have conducted a study of three contemporary novels – John Banville’s Athena, Kurt Vonnegut’s Bluebeard and Don DeLillo’s Mao II – in order to uncover the innovative ways in which novelists nowadays use ekphrasis to reinvigorate long prose.
Der Artikel enthält das Abstract ausschließlich in englischer Sprache.
L'article contient uniquement le résumé en anglais.
Physical description
  • Banville, J. (1995). Athena. New York: Vintage Books. Kindle edition.
  • DeLillo, D. (2012). Informal remarks from the David Foster Wallace memorial service in New York on October 23, 2008. In S. Cohen, & L. Konstantinou (Eds.), The Legacy of David Foster Wallace (pp. 23-24). Iowa City: University of Iowa Press.
  • DeLillo, D. (2016). Mao II. New York: Picador. Kindle edition.
  • Genette, G. (1997). The Work of Art: Immanence and Transcendence. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
  • Goodman, N. (1968). Languages of Art: An Approach to a Theory of Symbols. Indianapolis: Bobbs, Merril.
  • Heffernan, J. A. W. (1993). Museum of Words. The Poetics of Ekphrasis from Homer to Ashbery. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Mitchell, W. J. T. (1994). Picture Theory. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Mitchell, W. J. T. (1996). What do pictures ‘really’ want? October, 77, 71-82.
  • Mitchell, W. J. T. (2005). There are no visual media. Journal of Visual Culture, 4(2). Retrieved July 31, 2012, from
  • Sawa, M. (2009). Your encounter with ekphrasis. Roczniki Humanistyczne, LVII(5), 97-121. Lublin: Wydawnictwo Katolickiego Uniwersytetu Lubelskiego.
  • Vonnegut, K. (2011). Bluebeard. New York: Dial Press Paperbacks.
  • Webb, R. (2009). Imagination and Persuasion in Ancient Rhetorical Theory and Practice. Farnham: Ashgate.
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Publication order reference
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