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

Jarosław Hetman


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.


ekphrasis; allographic art; autographic art; notional ekphrasis; visual art/non-visual art

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Data publikacji: 2020-07-14 13:48:27
Data złożenia artykułu: 2020-03-29 13:20:01


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