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The Journal of English Language and Literature , Vol.59, No.5, 713 ~ 738, 2013
Attraction to and Distancing of Visual Arts: The Eve of St. Agnes and Pre-Raphaelite Paintings
손영희 Son Young Hee
The Eve of St. Agnes is a romance that resembles a series of gorgeous paintings redolent of Pre-Raphaelite paintings. Over these picturesque "paintings" Keats scatters dishonest stratagems that Porphyro uses to enchant Madeline. As Porphyro is identified with Keats in the act of writing the poem, the stratagems are equivalent to the devices that Keats employs to charm readers. For the readers The Eve of St. Agnes serves as an enchanting artistic commodity in verse, from which Keats subtly distances himself. Therefore, when Madeline and Porphyro flee away into the storm, Keats seems to send them to the "fairyland" where he imagines that poetry could be autonomous without the need to cater to commercialism. Pre-Raphaelite painters, inspired by Keats`s poetry, were intent on challenging the mannerism of the authoritative Royal Academy. However, after 1860, they became more attracted to the sensual and visual pleasure that luxurious objects and exotic foods depicted in Keats`s poems stimulate. Since bourgeois patrons and art collectors in the mid Victorian period were enthralled by the sensual pleasure Keats`s poems evoke, his poetry was the favorite source of subject matters for Pre-Raphaelite painters. Pre-Raphaelite paintings by William Holman Hunt, Arthur Hughes, and John Everett Millais were inspired by the picturesque romance of The Eve of St. Agnes. Nonetheless, they either distort Keats`s poem or overemphasize its sensual aspect or moral aspect; thus they fail to capture the ambivalence implied in Keats`s attraction to and distancing of visual arts in poetry.
Key Words
존 키츠, 라파엘전파형제회, 시의 상품화, 선정주의, 시각예술, John Keats, Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Commodification of Poetry, Sensationlism, Visual Art,영미문학, 문화연구, 비교문학, 비평이론, English and American Literature, cultural studies, comparative literature, critical theory
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