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This book presents an innovative analysis of the role of imagination as a central concept in both literary and art criticism. Dee Reynolds brings this approach to bear on works by Rimbaud, Mallarmé, Kandinsky, and Mondrian. It allows her to redefine the relationship between Symbolism and abstract art, and to contribute new methodological perspectives to comparative studies of poetry and painting. The late nineteenth and early twentieth century was a crucial period in the emergence of new modes of representation, and is currently at the forefront of critical enquiry. This is the first book to examine Symbolism and abstraction in this way, and the first to treat these poets and painters together. It is an original contribution to interdisciplinary scholarship in art history, literary history, and comparative aesthetics.
List of illustrations; Preface; Acknowledgements; List of abbreviations; Introduction; 1. Imagination and imaginary space; 2. Verbal hallucination: Rimbaud's poetics of rhythm; 3. Reflections in black and white: Mallarmé and the act of writing; 4. Putting the spectator in the picture: Kandinsky's pictorial world; 5. Between the lines: form and transformation in Mondrian; 6. Universal exceptions: sites of imaginary space; Conclusion; Notes; Select Bibliography; Index.