Exchanging Ekphrasis: Monumentality And Amplification In Verbal And Visual Strategies Of Description
This dissertation addresses the interface between verbal and visual signifying codes as they pertain to an act of ekphrasis. It considers distinct occasions from the fields of rhetoric, cognitive theory, early cultures of collecting, and visual culture where verbal and visual strategies-in a relationship more Argus-eyed than Janus-faced- work through a rhetoric of amplification, exceeding themselves and one other, and in so doing, confound and complement each other, while fragmenting and exaggerating their subjects in suit. Vacillating between the apparent stasis of its subject and a movement of metamorphosis, ekphrasis appears here as a form of monumentalizing in its attendant mutual dispositions of durability and mutability. It presents in variations upon some basic frictional, though not oppositional, pairs: the visual and verbal, the poetic and the plastic, the image and the object, and motion and stasis. The dissertation argues that ekphrasis entails an ongoing process that constantly exceeds, while reaffirming itself and positions ekphrasis itself as a dynamic, metamorphic device that works within an economy of excess, not only at the level of execution, but also at the level of discourse.
amplification; ekphrasis; visual and verbal
Waite, Geoffrey Carter W
Groos Jr, Arthur Bernhard; Lazzaro, Claudia
Ph. D., Germanic Studies
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis