Magritte and literature - Elective Affinities.pdf

Magritte and literature - Elective Affinities

Ben Stoltzfus

The Belgian Surrealist artist René Magritte (1898-1967) is well known for his thought-provoking and witty images that challenge the observers preconditioned perceptions of reality. Magritte and Literature examines some of the artists major paintings whose titles were influenced by and related to works of literature. Baudelaires The Flowers of Evil, Goethes Elective Affinities, and Poes The Domain of Arnheim are representative examples of Magrittes interarts dialog with literary figures. Despite these convergences the titles subvert the images in his paintings. It is the two images together that express the aesthetics of Surrealism-for example, the juxtaposition of unrelated objects whose purpose is to spark recognition. Magrittes challenge to representation compares with metafictions challenge to classic realism, Les Chants de Maldoror for example, and the intersecting space between art and writing, sometimes referred to as the iconotext, manifests itself whenever Magritte borrows a literary title for a painting. His strategy is to paint visible thought, and this reverse ekphrasis, the opposite of a rhetorical description, undermines the written text. When he succeeds, the effect is poetry.

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9789058679604 ISBN
Magritte and literature - Elective Affinities.pdf


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