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Beautiful Theology

Signifying truth in more than words alone

Monday, February 19, 2007

Words and Images 12


On voit autrement les images et les mots dans un tableau.


One sees the images and the words in a picture differently. [The word over the picture of the flower is “mountain.”]

I’m a little cautious about this one, but I take it that there’s an uncontroversial sense to it: “When you look at letters and look at images, you process the visual sensations differently for the letters and the images.” If I’m right, that’s true enough, but I’m not sure how it advances any particular point. Maybe you see it differently.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Pascale Soleil said...

A different twist would be:

In a picture, one sees words and images differently (than one would in another context).

"Autrement" has the flavor of "otherwise."

So, when pictures have words in them, those words function differently than they would if they were spoken or in a written text.

Similarly, a picture of a picture/image is a different thing than just a picture (ahem, if you know what I mean).

February 22, 2007 2:24 PM  
Blogger AKMA said...

I was uneasy about autrement, but I didn't see anything else to do about it; thanks for this suggestion. It helps a lot.

February 22, 2007 2:31 PM  
Anonymous tom said...

Taking Pascal's suggestion, the emphasis here on "autrement" then can be seen to converge, rather than be in tension with, the "même" of the previous statement.

February 24, 2007 4:52 AM  
Blogger Pascale Soleil said...

I guess I wanted to clarify also that I don't think it's a matter of Magritte wanting to say that one sees words and images differently in a picture from one another.

February 25, 2007 6:57 PM  
Anonymous tom said...

I think that's right. There seems to be more going on, another kind of difference or autrement, if we are willing to allow the image's playfulness to work. E.g., there's an interesting effect for me that occurs in regarding the flower with "montagne" echoing in the brain - the top part of the flower takes on the quality of a landscape, shifting from the usual associations of floral delicacy into something monumental -- an overlap, or ghostly interference of two realms, rather than a static juxtaposition of a word upon an image.

February 26, 2007 6:31 PM  
Blogger dydimustk said...

ever-willing to be the naïve one, I just find it interesting that I am capable and/or willing to make a distinction between the shapes which form the word for mountain, and the shapes which imply a flower.

April 01, 2007 6:57 PM  

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