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Welcome! A few years ago, I discovered an application that artists employ in their works to bring cultural awareness to their audiences. Having discerned this semiotic theory that applies to literature, music, art, film, and the media, I have devoted the blog, "Theory of Iconic Realism" to explore this theory. The link to the publisher of my book is below. If you or your university would like a copy of this book for your library or if you would like to review it for a scholarly journal, please contact the Edwin Mellen Press at the link listed below. Looking forward to hearing from you!

15 May, 2017

Sydney Owenson's Application of the Semiotic Theory of Iconic Realism

The following is from the first chapter of my book: 

Woven from the threads of disenfranchisement and enchantment, Owenson's writing captures the semiotic essence of the philosophically and politically inspired Romantic era, in which the grand is intentionally written to be grander in terms of style, topics and themes, where literary characterizations align with political forces to challenge the core of that which comprises a civil society.

The field of semiotics defines the significance of meaning in terms of its relative interpretations by Owenson’s audiences. Based on its historical and philosophical frames of reference, an audience assigns a variety of interpretations to any piece of literature. As Mario J. Valdés asserts, “The meaning we construe to any statement or any text is tentative; indeterminacy is controlled by a system of signs we accept as determinate in order to establish a temporary identity to the text.” [1] 

In alignment with this thought, Owenson’s readers interact with her as author and interpret the material independently of each other, yet in a way that is inclusive of the history and culture of all parties. These inclusive qualities of specific communities comprise the basis for the establishment of certain elements to be identified as iconic.

Iconic representation of literature within any community develops from that community’s awareness of the connection between the writer’s endeavour and human consciousness. When the community understands that each writer is contributing to the possible transformation of consciousness, fresh ideas offer the possibility for growth in the potential for change. 

Reformation occurs when the community also understands the historicity of the artists’ renderings in correlation with the current status of the community’s mind-set. Eventually, the cultures within a community, inclusive of the writers and those who comprise the audience, form a semiotic alliance that incorporates the language, philosophy and history of the culture. Once these elements align, a tolerance emerges that provides opportunity for innovation.... (pp.18-19)

[1] Mario Valdés,  Hermeneutics of Poetic Sense: Critical Studies of Literature, Cinema, and Cultural History (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998) p.15.

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