October 18, 2012
French professor to give lecture today on early modern French pastoral literature, art
Melinda Cro, assistant professor of French, will give the Fall Signatures Lecture of the modern languages department at 4 p.m. today in the Hemisphere Room of Hale Library. Her lecture will be "Portraits of Arcadia: Ekphrasis and the Pastoral."
Among the most popular modes of writing in the Western tradition, pastoral literature provided readers a means to escape society, to contrast utopian ideals of a rustic existence with less than satisfactory social reality, or to explore the greatest and most complex of poetic topics -- love. Key to many period experiments by writers was the idea of Ekphrasis, which implied that poetry resembled painting as a sister art, reflected in the modern technique of synesthesia, so common in impressionism.
By examining early modern French pastoral literature and painting, this presentation seeks to explore the ways in which both writers and painters undertook reciprocal translations from literature into visual art and from visual art into literature.