Ekphrastic narrative: a genre focalizing image and text

Overman, Linda Rader (2012) Ekphrastic narrative: a genre focalizing image and text. International Journal of Arts & Sciences, 5 (6). pp. 687-694.

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Abstract

Just as photographs are both genuine and disingenuous depending upon how they are used so ekphrastic narrative as a process creates potential for a re-writing of an image and questioning its truth. An image can never be finalized because the writer takes on combined, recursive and recurring roles. These make a contribution to an understanding of the concept of ekphrasis known merely as an obscure literary genre. That an image in the written text is an image of an image, just as a photograph is an image of an image, then both, or either, are provisional in the process of being recontextualized, transmuted, or effaced. To what extent does the act of ekphrastic narrating construct fictional memoir as visual to verbal de-familiarizing re-memory? To explore these issues and answer this question, I will discuss how these roles are evidenced by the fictional memoir Pictures on the Wall of my Life and come to life in the fictional character of Lily Adams. From the many ancestral portraits in black and white that line the halls of her childhood home, Adams learns that what they embody is indeed not visually representative of a past she has been encouraged to believe in, but rather is now forced to question as the pictures speak to her of a world re-focused through their own lens. Readers are often more familiar with works of art as paintings, or sketches, or large format art works than they are with photographs as inviting an ekphrastic narrative. However, a photograph without a companion narrative becomes a thing in its own separate cut-off space. We cannot clearly inhabit that space if we do not have a text to unlock the code enabling a visual to verbal transition.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Arts & Sciences
Publisher: UniversityPublications.net
ISSN: 1944-6934
Departments: Faculty of Education, Arts and Business > Institute of the Arts > Humanities
Pre 2016 Departments: Faculty of Education, Arts and Business > Arts and Humanities
Depositing User: Linda Overman
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2013 12:12
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2017 17:41
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/1440

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