War and Peace between Words and Pictures. The Picturebooks As Neutral Ground for the Dialectics between Graphic and Verbal Languages
Keywords:graphic language, wordless works, illustration, picture books, children’s literature
This article discusses the relationships that have been established throughout history between drawn pictures and written words. An almost epic interweaving of war and peace emerges between the two languages that, depending on the times, cultures and contexts, have sometimes prevailed one over the other, have sometimes allied themselves, and then again fought and imposed themselves on each other. Despite the fact that this diatribe never seems to reach a conclusion, there are some fields in which the two languages seem to succeed in dialoguing in unpredictable and surprising ways. One of these is the picture book, a neutral field in which the longstanding struggles for supremacy between graphic and verbal languages seem to disappear, whereas they instead dialogue and experiment together in new forms of narration. Words and images here renounce their traditional meanings and configuration, defining unusual forms of wordless books, which go far beyond the classic and almost predictable format of the silent books.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Enrico Cicalò
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