Murray Krieger. Ekphrasis: The Illusion of the Natural Sign


Krieger focusses on the literary desire to recreate a ‘natural sign’ and the inevitable frustration as the interpretation can never be the actual sign but a suggestion. When poets and artists try to re-present an other thing they are immediately faced with an obvious obstruction …the painting or image is fixed and exists spatially and the verbal or written words have a temporal existence; they must have a beginning and an end and spread over time.

He looks at many historical discourses from Plato, Aristotle through to Shelly and manages to circumnavigate through a wide diaspora of paradigms. Giving each type of dialogue due attention and recognition without dismissing them, recognising the ideas have an historical materialism and that part of a constantly changing system of values.


Kreiger, M. (1992) Ekphrasis: The Illusion of the Natural Sign, John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.

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