Tuesday 10 August 2010


Ekphrasis is the literary description or recounting of an event, thing or experience in the world. More commonly, as in ekphrastic poetry, it relates to the description of a work of art. "The goal of this literary form", writes Marjorie Munsterberg, "is to make the reader envision the thing described as if it were actually present."

As an intial point, writing about an art work experienced, this could be seen as what we are engaged with in this project. Particularly we are interested in what happens if we pay particular attention to this act of writing and work on this writing being the 'best' or most 'crafted' that it can be. Crucially with ekphrastic poetry the interest is not on the impossible, the poem cannot make present again the art work that is not there, but on the act of translation that allows the reader to imaginatively see something new which is informed by not just the original art work but also the sensativity of the poet.

As a research methodology it is this last point that is crucial.

At the same time it is worth thinking about in what ways could the writing about dance that this project is engaging in not be considered ekphrasis? What is the relation, for example, between descriptive evocation and other modes of written resposnes - such as a critical, reflective, personal and evaluative?

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