Ekphrastic Medieval Visions: A New Discussion In Interarts Theory

Hardcover | October 15, 2011

byClaire Barbetti

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Ekphrasis, a genre of poetry describing a work of art, has traditionally existed on the ideological battleground between the verbal and visual arts. Medieval ekphrases, however, reveal ekphrasis as a process rather than a genre and show how it works with cultural memory to transform, shift, and revise composition. Claire Barbetti explores the high and late medieval dream visions and mystical visions, ending with considerations of contemporary poetry to illustrate how medieval ekphrasis can illuminate current studies in poetics.

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Ekphrasis, a genre of poetry describing a work of art, has traditionally existed on the ideological battleground between the verbal and visual arts. Medieval ekphrases, however, reveal ekphrasis as a process rather than a genre and show how it works with cultural memory to transform, shift, and revise composition. Claire Barbetti explo...

Claire Barbettireceived her Ph.D. in English at Duquesne University. She was the co-founderand co-editor of the interdisciplinary journal Janus Head. A working poet, her poetry has been published inCimarron Review, How2, and The Drunken Boat.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 8.6 × 5.68 × 0.72 inPublished:October 15, 2011Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230109845

ISBN - 13:9780230109841

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Table of Contents

An Introduction to the Field of Ekphrasis * Part I * The Ekphrastic Medieval Dream Vision * Poetics and the Ekphrastic Body in Pearl * Ekphrasis and the Polytemporal in Piers Plowman * Part II * The Ekphrastic Mystical Vision Text and the Rhetoric of Memoria * Secret Designs/Public Shapes: The Space of Memory in the Ekphrasis of Hildegard’s Scivias * Inhuman Ekphrasis: The Forty(plus)-Year Ekphrasis of Julian of Norwich * The Gift of Medieval Ekphrasis: Contemporary Ekphrastic Poetics and the Question of Art

Editorial Reviews

"Barbetti's book offers a much welcome addition to contemporary poetics and the theory of ekphrasis in particular, which often omits the Middle Ages and its rich resources for thinking the cultural relations between the verbal and visual arts. Ekphrastic Medieval Visions makes a beautiful case for the importance of medieval genres such as the dream-vision for understanding ekphrasis as a dynamic verb that activates a kinetically vibrant body-time-space dimension in poetry, but also in cultural memory." - Eileen A. Joy, Lead Ingenitor of the BABEL Working Group, co-editor of postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies, and editor of The Postmodern Beowulf and Cultural Studies of the Modern Middle Ages "Recently ekphrasis has been a topic of some interest to scholars of medieval literature. Yet there has been little truly innovative work on the subject of the ekphrastic Middle Ages ... Claire Barbetti's Ekphrastic Medieval Visions: A New Discussion in Interarts Theory is the first text that has completely turned the definition of ekphrasis on its ear ... Barbetti's book is innovative in so many ways. By forcing ekphrasis out of the shadows of the binaries of verbal and visual, of masculine and feminine, of seeing and feeling she has given us a powerful new tool to examine texts in a different and intriguing light." - The Medieval Review