British Journal of Canadian Studies

'These vistas of desolation': image and poetry in Margaret Atwood and Charles Pachter's The Journals of Susanna Moodie

British Journal of Canadian Studies (2011), 24, (1), 69–84.

Abstract

This article examines the relationship between text and image in Margaret Atwood and Charles Pachter's The Journals of Susanna Moodie (1997). Critical considerations of The Journals have, to a large extent, been restricted to the textual component of the anthology. This study, however, advances a more inclusive critical mode, one that views the anthology not simply as a selection of poems with accompanying illustrations, but rather as a livre d'artiste – a distinctive genre demanding a distinctive critical approach that pays particular heed to the interaction between text and image. Initially exploring the causes of such text-centred interpretations, this study analyses closely the complex, multi-faceted relationship between artwork and text in several selected poems. In doing so, it argues that the function of Pachter's contribution to The Journals exceeds the illustrational and represents a vital component of the text.

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Author details

Murray, Patrick