Terry, Gina Opdycke (2010-05). Image and Text in Nineteenth-century Britain and Its After-images. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon

abstract

  • "Image and Text" focuses on the consequences of multi-media interaction on the concept of a work's meaning(s) in three distinct publishing trends in nineteenth-century Britain: graphic satire, the literary annuals, and book illustration. The graphic satire of engravers James Gillray and George Cruikshank is replete with textual components that rely on the interaction of media for the overall satirical impact. Literary annuals combine engravings with the ekphrastic poetry of writers including William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Robert Southey, and Letitia Elizabeth Landon. Book illustrations provided writers Sir Walter Scott and Alfred, Lord Tennyson a means to recycle previously published works as "new" texts; the engravings promote an illusion of textual originality and reality by imparting visual meanings onto the text. In turn, the close proximity of text to image changes visual meanings by making the images susceptible to textual meanings. Many of the theoretical implications resulting from the pairing of media resound in modern film adaptations, which often provide commentary about nineteenth-century visual culture and the self-reflexivity of media. The critical heritage that has responded to the pairing of media in nineteenth-century print culture often expresses uneasiness with the relationship between text and mechanically produced images, and this uneasiness has often resulted in the treatment of text and image as separate components of multi-media works. "Image and Text" recovers the dialogue between media in nineteenth-century print forms often overlooked in critical commentary that favors the study of an elusive and sometimes fictional concept of an original work; each chapter acknowledges the collaborative nature of the production of multi-media works and their ability to promote textual newness, originality (or the illusion of originality), and (un)reality. Multi-media works challenge critical conventions regarding artistic and authorial originality, and they enter into battles over fidelity of meaning. By recognizing multi-media works as part of a diverse genre it becomes possible to expand critical dialogue about such works past fidelity studies. Text and image cannot faithfully represent the other; what they can do is engage in dialogue: with each other, with their historical and cultural moments, and with their successors and predecessors.
  • "Image and Text" focuses on the consequences of multi-media interaction on the concept of a work's meaning(s) in three distinct publishing trends in nineteenth-century Britain: graphic satire, the literary annuals, and book illustration. The graphic satire of engravers James Gillray and George Cruikshank is replete with textual components that rely on the interaction of media for the overall satirical impact. Literary annuals combine engravings with the ekphrastic poetry of writers including William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Robert Southey, and Letitia Elizabeth Landon. Book illustrations provided writers Sir Walter Scott and Alfred, Lord Tennyson a means to recycle previously published works as "new" texts; the engravings promote an illusion of textual originality and reality by imparting visual meanings onto the text. In turn, the close proximity of text to image changes visual meanings by making the images susceptible to textual meanings. Many of the theoretical implications resulting from the pairing of media resound in modern film adaptations, which often provide commentary about nineteenth-century visual culture and the self-reflexivity of media.

    The critical heritage that has responded to the pairing of media in nineteenth-century print culture often expresses uneasiness with the relationship between text and mechanically produced images, and this uneasiness has often resulted in the treatment of text and image as separate components of multi-media works. "Image and Text" recovers the dialogue between media in nineteenth-century print forms often overlooked in critical commentary that favors the study of an elusive and sometimes fictional concept of an original work; each chapter acknowledges the collaborative nature of the production of multi-media works and their ability to promote textual newness, originality (or the illusion of originality), and (un)reality. Multi-media works challenge critical conventions regarding artistic and authorial originality, and they enter into battles over fidelity of meaning. By recognizing multi-media works as part of a diverse genre it becomes possible to expand critical dialogue about such works past fidelity studies. Text and image cannot faithfully represent the other; what they can do is engage in dialogue: with each other, with their historical and cultural moments, and with their successors and predecessors.

publication date

  • May 2010