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Perceiving text and image in Apollinaire's calligrammes

Shingler, Katherine

Perceiving text and image in Apollinaire's calligrammes Thumbnail


Katherine Shingler


Literary scholars have recently become increasingly interested in the perceptual and cognitive mechanisms involved in reading, and have incorporated scientific research in this area into their critical approaches to texts. This article argues that such an approach is particularly appropriate when authors explicitly engage with the way in which their texts are visually taken in and processed. This is the case with Guillaume Apollinaire, whose calligrammes are informed by a theory of visual-verbal simultaneity stipulating that the reader should be simultaneously aware of both textual and pictorial aspects of the poem. Experimental research in the psychology of reading and picture perception is used to assess this theory of simultaneity, and specifically to challenge Michel Foucault's claim that reading and viewing are mutually exclusive processes. The article concludes by considering further applications of psychological research to word and image studies.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 23, 2009
Publication Date Mar 1, 2011
Deposit Date Jun 10, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jun 10, 2016
Journal Paragraph
Print ISSN 0264-8334
Electronic ISSN 1750-0176
Publisher Edinburgh University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 34
Issue 1
Keywords Guillaume Apollinaire, visual poetry, simultaneity, experimental psychology, interdisciplinarity, text and image
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information The article has been accepted for publication by Edinburgh University Press in Paragraph, v. 34: 1, 2011, pp. 66-85.


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