Barbara Pycinska-Taylor (UCL) - 2014-15 Students

Art, Visuality and Ekphrasis in the Italian Neo Avant-Garde

This project proposes to analyse the complex relationship between word and image in Italian neo avant-garde poetry through the prism of ekphrasis, often defined as the literary engagement with visual art or “the verbal representation of visual representation.” Ekphrasis is a recurring if largely overlooked feature in the oeuvre of the Italian literary neo avant-garde and successive movements, and the poetic works of Edoardo Sanguineti, Giulia Niccolai, Adriano Spatola and Amelia Rosselli within the period 1960-2010 will constitute the principal focus of my research. I will argue that these poets employ ekphrastic practices that accord with the radical approaches to language and representation characteristic of the neo avant-garde movement more generally. Their frequently non-mimetic, unreliable and creative re-articulation of visual source material constitutes a radical break from earlier ekphrastic models.

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