Following the path of research inquiring into the mutual relations of fine arts and literature, our intention is to investigate the alternatives of transferring certain ready-made structures from one media representation to another one, as well as the strategies of its adaptation to the capacity of the media taking over the new structure, i.e. literature and narrative fiction in particular. The focus is on such cases, where individual components of story comply with the general conditions of narrative structure and particular requirements of the plot, while representing a verbal form (or linguistic update) of a pictorial model, which often reflects a typical cultural scheme of the period concerned. Adopting the notion of pictorial model as introduced by Tamar Yacobi the authors revisit and explicate her analysis of its employment in Nabokov's short story “Spring in Fialta” (1936) to demonstrate its interpretive potential. Adding further examples from John Fowles's fiction they aim at distinguishing between singular (illustrative) and structural use of pictorial model. The latter is demonstrated in Frantisek Langer's short story „Susanna and the elders“ (1921) where the explicit quotation as well as latent presence of the eponymic pictorial model functions both as a plot scenario and as an interpretive matrix. Ecphrasis (of a fictional painting) and various more or less explicit, sometimes narrative diffused representations or even subtle allusions of several pictorial models may be found also in Alois Jirasek's novelette Zahoransky hon (1885); nevertheless, the crucial scheme is the employment of the gallant scenes typical of rococo paintings (particularly its prototypes which may be identified in Fragonard's works), including not only their topics and props but even techniques (such as scene lighting), which are applied here both as story components and discourse devices. While in many cases displayed by the author of the concept, Tamar Yacobi, pictorial models function as inset partial schemes and mere allusions carrying accessory cultural meanings, Jirasek's novelette may be considered as a salient example of their employment in construing the entire (rococo) story-world as well as in the narrative discourse.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.