Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ten of the best: examples of ekphrasis

At the Guardian, John Mullan named ten of the best examples of ekphrasis--the recreation in words of a work of art.

One novel on the list:
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

It starts off delighting its own subject – "The sense of his own beauty came on him like a revelation" – but over the months begins to change: "there was the picture before him, with the touch of cruelty in the mouth." Each ekphrasis keeps pace with Dorian's corruption, as the beautiful young man himself remains unblemished.
Read about the other examples of ekphrasis on Mullan's list.

The Picture of Dorian Gray also appears on Mullan's list of ten of the best disastrous performances in fiction.

--Marshal Zeringue