The dialogic relationship between literary texts and paintings and its application to Literary Education in High School


The object of the present paper is the functional utilisation of the artistic image in the teaching of literature in Secondary Education. The proposal for the introduction of paintings to literary education is founded on Bakhtin’s principle of dialogism. The wider spirit of the theory of dialogism allows us to detach the literary text from the solitude of its autonomy, connecting it not only to other literary texts but also to other forms of art, which unfold within a particular historical and cultural context. One example of the dialogic relationship between literature and painting could be the dialogue between Kostas Karyotakis’ poem ‘We are just some…’ and Egon Schiele’s paintings, which was deployed in a teaching session for Greek eleventh graders. The teaching course, which is described thoroughly in the article, gave prominence to the dialogic relationship between the poetic text and the artistic images on a thematic, on a style and on a sociohistorical level. It also brought out the students’ role as active participants in the dialogue between the poem and the paintings and as crucial agents of the completion and the renewal of their meaning. This sample teaching has proven that the utilisation of the visual artwork material can be fully incorporated into the implementation framework of the current teaching methods of literature, can reignite pupils' own interest in the ideas and expressive ways of poetry and initiate them successfully into the fundamental issues of art in general. 

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