Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun rhetoric A clear, intense, self-contained argument or pictorial description of an object, especially of an artwork.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek ἔκφρασις (ekphrasis, "description"), from ἐκφράζω (ekphrazō, "I describe"), from ἐκ (ek, "out, ex-") + φράζω (phrazō, "I explain, point out").

Examples

  • At work in this ekphrasis is a subconscious interest in decorum and restraint, and a corresponding leeriness about aesthetic identification.

    Shelley, Medusa, and the Perils of Ekphrasis

  • While these examples suggest that in practice ekphrasis is not limited to one specific use, contemporary attitudes toward the term have grown out of a definition of it that emphasizes literary (poetic) representation — with all the ambiguities, tensions, and contradictions the notion entails.

    Obama’s Inauguration Poem: Ekphrasis, Evoking pictures, swaying emotions, preparing expositions

  • While these examples suggest that in practice ekphrasis is not limited to one specific use, contemporary attitudes toward the term have grown out of a definition of it that emphasizes literary (poetic) representation — with all the ambiguities, tensions, and contradictions the notion entails.

    2008 December 23 | NIGEL BEALE NOTA BENE BOOKS

  • I want to suggest, however, that in a certain sense all ekphrasis is notional, and seeks to create a specific image that is to be found only in the text as its "resident alien," and is to be found nowhere else.

    Notes, Mitchell, "Ekphrasis and the Other"

  • In an ekphrasis which itself describes a series of framed images, the author contrives no less than three levels of remove (actually, four, if we include the fact that the ekphrasis is used solely as a metaphor for De Quincey's own dream experiences); I quote only from the preface to his account: Many years ago, when I was looking over Piranesi's Antiquities of Rome,

    Shelley, Medusa, and the Perils of Ekphrasis

  • What is it in ekphrasis that makes it an object of utopian speculation, anxious aversion, and studied indifference?

    Ekphrasis and the Other

  • The female image of ekphrasis is not an object to be caressed and fondled with contemplative ambivalence like Keats's Urn, Stevens's Jar, or

    Ekphrasis and the Other

  • The first might be called "ekphrastic indifference," and it grows out of a commonsense perception that ekphrasis is impossible.

    Ekphrasis and the Other

  • It seems entirely fitting, then, that the canonical "origin" of classical ekphrasis is the description of Achilles 'shield in the 18th book of the Iliad.

    Ekphrasis and the Other

  • The relation of epic to ekphrasis is thus turned inside out: the entire action of the

    Ekphrasis and the Other

Comments

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  • Interesting essays here and here about the relationship between verbal and visual art.

    January 17, 2008

  • reesetee, apparently we get the same newsletter. :)

    January 17, 2008

  • Poets.org, yes? :-)

    January 17, 2008

  • that's the one!

    January 17, 2008

  • Heehee. Next time you go first!

    January 17, 2008

  • Which other words contain the string -kphr- ?

    September 26, 2011

  • ekphrastic

    September 26, 2011

  • Yes, well, I was thinking a little more other than ekphrastic. But thanks for responding, bilby, and thanks for the adjective.

    September 26, 2011

  • According to OneLook there are only variations of this root. Unless we go madeupicalise a bit :-)

    September 26, 2011

  • Quackphrenologist. (Is there any other kind?)

    September 26, 2011