Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

Etymologies

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

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • I don't think ekphrasis is the key to the difference between ordinary and literary language, but merely one of many figures for distinguishing the literary institution (in this case, by associating verbal with visual art).

    Ekphrasis and the Other

Comments

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  • Is there no stock phrase? (or picture?)

    September 26, 2011

  • Then there is porkphyria pigmentosa, a porcine malady (involving severe sensitivity to sunlight, if you must know) that manifests in piggies who over-indulge in a certain variety of clover.
    What's that you say? It doesn't fit the criterion? Picky, picky, picky.

    September 26, 2011

  • It was bondage and liberte in equal measure at this week's unveiling of jean-Paul Gaultier's spring lineup. Madonna-style bustiers vied with mockphrygian caps as the models sashayed down the catwalk.

    September 26, 2011

  • Quackphrenologist. (Is there any other kind?)

    September 26, 2011

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

    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

  • ekphrastic

    September 26, 2011

  • Which other words contain the string -kphr- ?

    September 26, 2011

  • Heehee. Next time you go first!

    January 17, 2008

  • that's the one!

    January 17, 2008

  • Poets.org, yes? :-)

    January 17, 2008

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

    January 17, 2008

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

    January 17, 2008