L'ékphrasis modernista di William Carlos Williams: modalità di rappresentazione intersemiotica e transculturale


  • Francesca Razzi




The present paper focuses on the intersemiotic and transcultural relation between text and image in Pictures from Brueghel by William Carlos Williams. The analysis of Williams’s way of translating (Jakobson 1959) and interpreting Brueghel’s paintings will be carried out through a comparative approach – dealing with both internal, or formal, textual elements (Wellek‒Warren 1949), and external, or contextual, issues (Greenblatt 1989; Montrose 1989; Bourdieu 2005) also connected to a transcultural critical standpoint (Dimock 2001; Pease 2011). Consequently, previous aesthetic and semiotic readings of Williams’s work (Scott 1999) will be extended by considering the strategies through which American modernist culture interprets Flemish Renaissance art. Different poems in Pictures from Brueghel – for instance, ‘Landscape with the Fall of Icarus’, ‘The Hunters in the Snow’, and ‘Peasant Wedding’ – are representative of the complex interconnections between the artistic/visual element and the literary/verbal system characterizing Williams’s collection, whose place into the whole literary production of the American poet will be also taken into account.


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Articles (general section) - American language, literature, and culture