Mavis Gallant: The Eye and the Ear

Mavis Gallant: The Eye and the Ear

by Marta Dvorak

NOOK Book(eBook)

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Overview

Drawing on private correspondence and conversations with the Gallant she repositions as a late modernist, Marta Dvořák investigates the connections between the Paris-based master of the short story and visual and sound culture.

Through the filter of philosophical aesthetics, she identifies the painterly, cinematic, and musical dynamics which light up Gallant’s craft. At the same time, she opens a dialogue between Gallant and other international modernists, and with those they were reading, watching, and listening to, from the moving pictures which shaped Gallant’s generation to the rhythm and dissonance of, say, Stravinsky and jazz, which - like the Cubist rupture with spatial perspective — spearheaded modernity’s aesthetics of breakage. 

How does Gallant’s work work? Dvořák’s hands-on rhetorical analyses of Gallant’s stories and lesser-known, recently reissued novels illuminate the superb stylist’s language and vision via an emphasis on both image and rhythm. Providing keys to Gallant’s famous sleights-of-hand and tonal shifts, the discussions reveal a fictional world as multidimensional as a Cubist picture or a symphony - depending on whether we lean towards the eye or the ear.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781487531966
Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Publication date: 11/04/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Marta Dvořák was born in Budapest, raised in Canada, and went on to become professor of Canadian and World Literatures at the Sorbonne in Paris, where she became a close friend of Mavis Gallant.

Table of Contents

Acquisitions: Mapping World and Work  
An Acrostic for Mavis
Mavis, Osmosis, and the Artful Dodger
The Medium Calling the Tune?
Why Degas?
Mavis, the (Moving) Pictures, and Music
Border Blur
Beyond Our Current Way of Seeing
Is it Dead or Alive?
Gallant’s Shining Language: Wholeness, Harmony, and Radiance
The Rest is Just Rice Pudding’: Compression and Expansion
Not Mad, Not Drowning, Not Ophelia: A Poetics of Rhythm
The Oratorical Triad: Like Looking Into the Sun
Upstairs and Downstairs: The Banal and the Barbarism
The Calf and the Ox: Comical Cleavage
Poetic Speech and the Heard Word
Metre and the Art of Sinking and Rising Again
Visual Overlays: Page and Screen
An Ellipsoidal Narrative Rhythm through which Ideas Rush: Where Import Lies
Dissonance and Syncopation
Silent, Flickering Areas of Light: Making Strange
Tougher than Bulldogs: The Odd Man Out
Tum Titty: Adjacency Pairs
Frame-breaking: The Real and the Reel
Surfeit and Lack
Text/Image, Border Blur, and Cubist Realism
You Paint Not What You See but What You Know Is There
Never Happier than in an Artist’s Studio: Intersections 
Taking Apart and Putting Together
A Fraught Realism
Who Is I and When Is Here?
Simultanism vs Clocktime
The Subject-Centred Perceptual Apparatus
Double Vision: From Shortcut to Short Circuit
How Can You Tell What Somebody’s Worth? What’s the Measure?

Works Cited

What People are Saying About This

Winfried Siemerling

“Marta Dvořák's Mavis Gallant: The Eye and the Ear is a work of exceptional scholarship that is also deeply personal. Intermedial analyses illuminate Gallant's dazzling, high modernist 'Cubist realism' in the literary, visual, and sonic contexts she absorbed in the creation of her comic vision − with Proust and Beckett, painting and cinema, classical music and jazz among the many inspirations. Remembered conversations and personal incidents, the traces of a profound intellectual Paris friendship between the writer and the critic, provide supplemental, more intimate glimpses of Canada's master ironist. Dvořák's study takes us on a hugely rewarding journey, a worthy companion piece to the work of a writer who not only Michael Ondaatje considered worthy of the Nobel Prize."

W.H. NEW

"Superb—every page of this book brings fresh insights into Mavis Gallant's writing—a major accomplishment, nothing short of a new poetics of style."

Lesley Clement

"Dvořák's friendship with Gallant, documented here in correspondence and remembered conversations, opens up the kinds of unique insights that only someone in Dvořák's enviable situation is able to provide. In-depth readings, an expansive range of materials, and trailblazing theoretical frameworks enhance this book's outstanding scholarship."

Aritha van Herk

"In this exquisitely curated close reading of one of the most acute short story writers ever, Marta Dvořák uncloaks the bricolage that comprises Mavis Gallant's oeuvre. This is a work for the intelligent reader of an intelligent writer. More than critique, The Eye and the Ear is a cultural tour, a Cubist paradox, and a wonderful exploration of the artistic coincidences that influenced Gallant. Dvořák leaps from music to art to literature and history with the dexterity of an acrobat and the sensibility of a true aesthete, translating Gallant's rendezvous with exquisite discernment and the texture of philosophical thought. Cemented by Dvořák's friendship with Gallant, lucid analysis here cohabits with a subtle rendition of a literary relationship seasoned with language and rhythm. Quite simply, brilliant."

Robert Thacker

"Mavis Gallant: The Eye and the Ear is lively and erudite."

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