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The Hermeneutic Spiral and Interpretation in Literature and the Visual Arts

This collection brings together eighteen of the author's original papers, previously published in a variety of academic journals and edited collections over the last three decades, on the process of interpretation in literature and the visual arts in one comprehensive volume. The volume highlights the centrality of artistic texts to the study of multimodality, organized into six sections each representing a different modality or semiotic system, including literature, television, film, painting, sculpture, and architecture. A new introduction lays the foundation for the theoretically based method of analysis running through each of the chapters, one that emphasizes the interplay of textual details and larger thematic purposes to create an open-ended and continuous approach to the interpretation of artistic texts, otherwise known as the "hermeneutic spiral". Showcasing Michael O'Toole's extensive contributions to the field of multimodality and in his research on interpretation in literature and the visual arts, this book is essential reading for students and scholars in multimodality, visual arts, art history, film studies, and comparative literature.
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Table of Contents

Introduction Part 1: Literary Narrative Chapter 1: Structure and Style in the Short Story: Chekhov's The Student Chapter 2: Narrative structure and living texture: Joyce's Two Gallants Chapter 3: Analytic and synthetic approaches to narrative structure: Sherlock Holmes and The Sussex Vampire Chapter 4: Dimensions of semiotic space: the story of Joseph in the Bible and James Joyce's Eveline Part 2: TV Narrative Chapter 5: Art vs. Computer Animation: Integrity and Technology in South Park Part 3: Film Chapter 6: Eisenstein in October Chapter 7: Eisenstein's Strike: a structuralist interpretation Chapter 8: Early Soviet Cinema: The revolution in techniques and human values Part 4: Painting Chapter 9: Towards a systemic semiotics of art: Frank Hinder's The Flight into Egypt Chapter 10: Captain Banning Cocq's three left hands: a semiotic interpretation of Rembrandt's The Night Watch Chapter 11: Word Pictures and Painted Narrative. Longstaff's Breaking the News: the systemic-functional model relating the analysis of pictorial discourse, verbal discourse and narrative form Chapter 12: Pushing out the boundaries: designing a systemic-functional model for non-European visual arts. A Chinese landscape painting: Gong Xian: Landscape Scroll (1682) Chapter 13: Exploiting famous paintings: the Canon Color Wizz Photocopier and Picasso's Girl Before a Mirror Chapter 14: The presentation of self in everyday architecture and language: Fawlty Towers

About the Author

Michael O'Toole is Emeritus Professor of Communication Studies at Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia.

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