Reading Relationally

Postmodern Perspectives on Literature and Art
Laurie Edson
How reading literature through the lens of visual art sheds new light on the accomplishments of modernist and postmodernist writers


Reading Relationally looks at literary works alongside works of art to enrich our appreciation of what texts do and how texts mean. Laurie Edson's fresh and provocative readings of a range of literature and visual art shed new light on the contributions of writers and artists and the resonances between their work.

Reading Relationally is grounded in poststructuralist theory, feminist theory, interdisciplinary studies, and postmodern practice. It proceeds by a series of exemplary comparisons whose purpose is to unsettle habitual, codified terms of analysis and to suggest alternative ways of seeing, thinking, and organizing knowledge. The book explores reverberations between the work of Marguerite Duras and Cindy Sherman; Francis Ponge and Rene Magritte; Mallarme, Duchamp, and Calvino; Apollinaire and Picasso; Lautreamont and Dali; Rimbaud and Matisse; and Duchamp, Miro, Apollinaire, and Lichtenstein.

Written in an accessible and lively style, this interdisciplinary study will interest general readers as well as students and specialists in postmodernism and literary criticism, as well as those interested in the relationships between literature and visual art.

Praise / Awards

  • "Reading Relationally offers those readers already convinced of the validity of contextual absence in postmodern theory a thought-provoking foray into visual-verbal analogues. For those who view this issue as problematic, the book remains a tantalizing exploration into the potential of reading literature through the lens of art."
    ---Suzanne Singletary, Temple University, 19th-Century French Studies, Fall 2003-Winter 2004
  • "By the critical gesture of bringing together a number of well known and lesser known texts, Edson unsettles conventional analyses with cogency and acuity. The book includes illustrations of the visual texts discussed, enhancing the clarity of the perspicacious readings."
    ---Glenn W. Fetzer, Calvin College, Substance #101, Volume 32, No. 2 (2003)

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 200pp.
  • 2 drawings, 21 photographs.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2001
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-11175-6

Add to Cart
  • $79.95 U.S.