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Écriture Aesthetics: Mapping the Literate Episteme of Visual Narrative

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 October 2020


The norms of art-cinema narration—evident in the work of such directors as Ingmar Bergman, Satyajit Ray, and François Truffaut—reflect noetic processes and expectations engendered by a culture of the written word. Such norms are absent from Hindi popular films, which have been historically contoured by the psychodynamics of orally based thought and by devices and motifs common to oral storytelling. By funneling art-cinema narration's norms—already meticulously (and impartially) cataloged by David Bordwell—through the prism of orality and through the orally inflected characteristics of Hindi popular films and by conjointly engaging with literary theory concerned with issues of textuality, this essay develops a novel conceptual matrix for understanding the epistemic pressures that weigh on visual storytelling as both a spectatorial and a generative act.

Research Article
Copyright © 2008 by The Modern Language Association of America

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