Vol. 8 (2019)
CONDIZIONI DI POSSIBILITÀ – Letteratura e cultura visuale, a cura di F. Fastelli

“They make me see pictures”. La poesia di Stephen Crane tra arte verbale e cultura visuale

Giuseppe Nori
Università degli Studi di Macerata
Published December 30, 2020
  • intersemiotic translation,
  • Stephen Crane,
  • The Black Riders,
  • verbal art,
  • visual culture


This essay explores Stephen Crane’s first volume of poetry,The Black Riders and Other Lines, as an aesthetic and cultural paradox of the American 1890s: a dense work where a contemporary and international vanguard movement of revolt and rejection in the visual and literary arts overlapped with a sacred tradition of firm achievements, accepted beliefs, and richly elaborated forms on Protestant soil. As such, The Black Riders stands as a striking example of the interaction of literature and visual culture. This is closely probed in two poems that enjoyed an original and arresting intersemiotic translation – two black and white designs by a young woman artist whose “weirdly imaginative power” contributed to visualize the “unique imaginings” and the “enormous repudiations” of Crane’s work.


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