Staff in the Department of French
Publication details for Professor Richard Maber1999 Maber, Richard G. 'Poetic picture-galleries in seventeenth-century France', in Hutton, Margaret-Anne (ed.), Text(e)/Image, Durham Modern Languages Series, pp. 41-68
- Publication type: Books: sections
- ISSN/ISBN: 0-907310-42-7
Author(s) from Durham
Over recent decades academic criticism has indicated a certain distrust in the signifying capacity of the written word by introducing a peculiar convention: the addition of often unorthodox punctuation or other graphic notations into the text. The decision to follow this convention in the choice of the title Text(e)/Image has a two-fold purpose. Rather than constituting a gesture towards the feminisation of the text, the parenthesis indicates that this collection of proceedings from a two-day colloquium hosted by the Department of French at the University of Durham in 1998 is a dual-lingual volume. More pertinently, the notation gestures towards the complexities of the interrelations between the two terms in question. The papers, which range over some four centuries of French culture, both ‘high’ and ‘popular’, confront a broad variety of material, including written texts which represent the visual, visual representations which can be read as texts, hybrid forms such as the emblem or bande dessinée, film, architecture, and poetry. The underlying unity of the volume lies not in the ‘discovery’ that modes of aesthetic representation do not exist in hermetically-sealed discrete spheres (a notion to which we are all accustomed) – that there exists a field of semiosis common to both visual and textual representations – but rather in the exploration of the degrees and varieties of influence and interchange between the two terms, a focus on notions of priority and precedent, hierarchy, aesthetic effect, and shifting conditions of aesthetic production and reception.