Museum of Words: The Poetics of Ekphrasis from Homer to Ashbery
Ekphrasis is the art of describing works of art, the verbal representation of visual representation. Profoundly ambivalent, ekphrastic poetry celebrates the power of the silent image even as it tries to circumscribe that power with the authority of the word. Over the ages its practitioners have created a museum of words about real and imaginary paintings and sculptures.
In the first book ever to explore this museum, James Heffernan argues that ekphrasis stages a battle for mastery between the image and the word. Moving from the epics of Homer, Virgil, and Dante to contemporary American poetry, this book treats the history of struggle between rival systems of representation. Readable and well illustrated, this study of how poets have represented painting and sculpture is a major contribution to our understanding of the relation between the arts.
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Chapter One HOMER VIRGIL DANTE A Genealogy of Ekphrasis
Chapter Two WEAVING RAPE Ekphrastic Metamorphoses of the Philomela Myth from Ovid to Shakespeare
Chapter Three ROMANTIC EKPHRASIS Iconophobia Iconophilia and the Ideology of Transcendence
Chapter Four MODERN AND POSTMODERN EKPHRASIS Entering the Museum of Art
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actually Aeneas Aeneid ancient Apollo Arachne Arachne's artist Ashbery Ashbery's Auden's Beaumont's beauty becomes Busirane Byron canto Clitophon Daedalus Dance Dante Dante's death described ekphrasis ekphrastic passage ekphrastic poetry Elgin marbles Emelye envoicing epic evokes explicitly eyes gaze Gluck graphic Greek Hephaestus Homer Hunters Icarus icon ideal Keats Keats's language Leucippe Leucippe and Clitophon lines look Lucrece male marble meaning Medusa metaphor mirror museum narrative narrator notes object Ovid Ovid's Ozymandias painted face painter Parmigianino Peele Castle petrified Philomela pictorial Pieter Breughel poem poet poet's poetic portrait precisely prefigure Priam Procne quoted recalls represent representation says scenes sculpted figures sculpture seen Self-Portrait sexual Shakespeare's shield of Achilles signify silent simply Sinon sonnet soul speak stanza story suggests tapestry Tarquin tells temple Tereus tion transcendent Trojan Troy turns Vasari Venus viewer violence Virgil visual art weaving Williams Williams's woman women words Wordsworth writes wrought
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