"So we'll live, And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh at gilded butterflies." ~ William Shakespeare
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Current: Danbury, CT, United States
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!


I will present or have presented research on Sydney Owenson (Lady Morgan) or my semiotic theory of iconic realism at the following location(s):

April, 2022: American Conference for Irish Studies, virtual event: "It’s in the Air: James Joyce’s Demonstration of Cognitive Dissonance through Iconic Realism in His Novel, Ulysses"

October, 2021: Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT: "Sydney Owenson’s use of sociolinguistics and iconic realism to defend marginalized communities in 19th century Ireland"

March, 2021: Lenoir-Rhyne University, Hickory, North Carolina: "Sydney Owenson (Lady Morgan): A Nineteenth Century Advocate for Positive Change through Creative Vision"

October, 2019: Elms College, Chicopee, Massachusetts: "A Declaration of Independence: Dissolving Sociolinguistic Borders in the Literature of Sydney Owenson (Lady Morgan)"

26 May, 2022

Memorial Day: Thomas Paine and Revolutionary Consciousness

In honor of Memorial Day, 
a day when we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. 

from Google Images

     Thomas Paine derives his insight of revolutionary consciousness based on traditions and historical practices. In his pamphlet, Common Sense, directed toward the “American Inhabitants,” Thomas Paine describes monarchies in general in this fashion:

Male and female are the distinctions of nature, good and bad the distinctions of heaven; but how a race of men came into the world so exalted above the rest, and distinguished like some new species, is worth enquiring into, and whether they are the means of happiness or of misery to mankind.

      Here, Paine empathizes with the common individual in his simple analysis of physical and moral distinctions of humanity, and he refers to the British aristocracy as “a new species.” He boldly reaches out to the consciousness of his readers, inspiring them to act on their natural right of the pursuit of happiness. In the words of Harvey Kaye, “As Paine saw it, American unity and vitality were themselves revolutionary imperatives - but not just for Americans” (65).

Kaye, Harvey. Thomas Paine and the Promise of America. New York: Hill & Wang,

25 May, 2022


The Ascension of Christ 1636, painted by Rembrandt, oil on canvas, 
Alte Pinakothek, Munich: Catalogue number: Bredius 557. 

"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father." (John 14:12) 
As we experience the annual feast of the Ascension of Jesus Christ, we can understand the powerful Love extended to all through this Heavenly sacrifice. 
Below is a poem that I have written for this occasion: 


Our eyes meet in a Heavenly gaze
and I am struck with desire to continue
 His mighty challenge. 
Weariless, brave, courageous
am I, His soldier of Peace
in a world in need of 
over fear.

© Jeanne I. Lakatos

12 May, 2022

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.

01 May, 2022

"Singing the "Blues"

Every year, when my Siberian irises bloom, thoughts of my Dad return to me. Below is a poem about the irises that he brought to me many years ago. "They're your flower, Jeanne Iris. The blue matches the blue in your eyes and they bear your name." This was a significant statement, for my genetic 'flaw' of blue eyes had always made me feel like an outsider, for everyone else in my family had brown eyes. 

The second poem describes the first thing I experience in the morning. My favorite time of day is that moment when I first awaken, sometimes still dreaming, and I look out my window to a lovely little forest, night animals still calling to their mates, no human sound outdoors at all. It's just before dawn, and just after that 'darkest hour,' and for only a few minutes, everything is blue. 

Blue Iris
My Dad brought me some irises
one day
I planted them,
and when 'moving day' arrived,
those bulbs were dug up
brought along for the ride.
Now, every June, they appear
bearing memories of his smiles 
more vividly than the previous year
keeping his beautiful memory alive.
Now, as I strive
to achieve daily goals,
his voice rings clearly in my ear:
"You can be anything you want to be, my dear...
if you just persevere."  


Just Before Dawn
Eyes open slowly.
Still, I walk along that lovely beach
and glance up to see a small village.
That same, intriguing dream,
now, it fades away
with the early morning mist.
 I feel a gentle, cool breeze
waft across my face
and turn my head
toward the choir of crickets,
still calling to their mates.
An owl wings its way
midst entangled branches,
eerily hooting through the blue.
My gaze reaches the maple tree
standing tall in this tableau
all blue, shades of blue, no other color
but blue. Everywhere!
Leaves, tree trunks, even the lone deer,
all blue.
It's no longer evening, not yet dawn.
Sky and sea are one magic hue.
The song of one bird greets me:
a prayer for the new day
in this tranquil moment of

© Jeanne I. Lakatos