The Art of the Text

Visuality in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Literary and Other Media

Edited by Susan Harrow

The Art of the Text

Edited by Susan Harrow

Distributed for University of Wales Press

256 pages | 5 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2013
Cloth $48.00 ISBN: 9780708326596 Published November 2013 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only
E-book $140.00 ISBN: 9780708326602 Will Publish October 2019 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only
The Art of the Text contributes to the dialogue of textual studies with visual culture studies by focusing on the processes through which writers think and readers respond visually. This volume’s contributors apply their backgrounds in literature, screen, and visual studies, to explore the visuality of the literary and nonliterary text with a sustained focus on French works of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Visuality is appraised here, not as a state, but as a means of adaptation, resistance, negotiation, and transformation. In the process of reading visually, the contributors offer new insights on visual-textual relations in canonical texts drawn from romanticism, naturalism, surrealism, and high modernism, and across a range of media, from film, textiles, and television, to fan literature and picture language.

Series editor’s preface


List of illustrations



                Susan Harrow

I               Thinking the visual image

1  Jules Verne: The Unbearable Brightness of Seeing

                Timothy Unwin

2  Affinities of Photography and Syntax in Proust’s  À la recherche du temps purdu

                Áine Larkin

3  Portraits and Neologisms: Understanding the Visual in Henri Michaux’s ‘Voyage en Grande Garabagne’

                Nina Parish

4  The ‘trou noir’: Visualizations of Nihilism in Nietzsche and Modiano

                Jenny Devine

II             Intermedial migrations in the 1920s

5  Painting and Cinema in Aragon’s Anicet

                Katherine Shingler

6  Isotopes and Elephants: Picture-Language as Visual Writing in the Work and Correspondence of Otto Neurath

                Michelle Henning

7  Colette: An Eye for Textiles

                Anne Freadman

8  Stars as Sculpture in the 1920s Fan-Magazine Interview

                Michael Williams

III            Visual negotiations and adaptations

9  Victor Hugo and Painting: the Exceptional Case of the Orientales

                Karen Quandt

10  Visions and Revisions: Zola, Cardinal and L’Œuvre

                Kate Griffiths

11  Donner à voir:Poetic Language and Visual Representation according to Paul Éluard

                Peter Hawkins

12  ‘La lettre au cinéma n’est pas une excellente solution’: A Heteromedial Analysis of Chantel Akerman’s Proust Adaption

                Jørgen Bruhn  

Translation sources



Review Quotes
Jean J. Duffy, University of Edinburgh
“The Art of the Text is a rich and well-conceived collection of essays that, by virtue of the coherence of the vision underpinning the volume and the range of topics, genre, and media that it addresses, makes a distinctive and valuable contribution to word and image studies.”
Shirley Jordan, Queen Mary, University of London
“How do writers think visually? How do readers respond visually to the written word? This exciting volume offers fresh insights within the rapidly evolving field of visual culture studies by pinpointing an important but as of yet underdeveloped area: the visuality of text. Drawing on a wide spectrum of practices, each affording a compelling instance of cross-fertilization between the written and the visual, the volume assembles wonderful close readings of important experimental works. Twelve international experts show how canonical creators have been inspired by thinking between the written word and a range of visual phenomena related to photography, textile, cinema, television, sculpture, painting, portraits, Isotype symbols, colors, lights, and black holes. The Art of the Text deserves a place on the bookshelves of anyone interested in intermedial adventure.”
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