Ekphrastic Medieval Visions: A New Discussion in Interarts Theory
Chapter 3, ‘Ekphrasis and the Polytemporal in PPl‘, claims that ‘an ekphrastic reading—a reading predicated on the visual patterning of composition and how such composition is culturally fabricated—is equipped to make sense of these patternings and tensions that make PPl so difficult for readers’ (p. 61): the variety of genres, the multiplicity of dreams, the difficulty of the time sequence. This chapter focuses especially on the figure of Imaginatif and the Tree of Charity passus, and considers the poem’s versions through the metaphor of the palimpsest. In doing so it inquires ‘into the kind of time that PPl makes and how its notion and display of interpretation renders the conception of time, not linear, but more accurate for human experience and narrative. The poem’s sense of itself as participating in multiple times while both recounting, moving through, and creating history is perhaps one of the most important features of PPl, especially in that its sweep and scope are created through the dream’ (p. 63).