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Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe

versão On-line ISSN 2224-7912
versão impressa ISSN 0041-4751


VAN DER MERWE, Linette. Investigating multimodal metaphors in the poetry film "Stad in die mis" (Opperman). Tydskr. geesteswet. [online]. 2021, vol.61, n.4-1, pp.1020-1038. ISSN 2224-7912.

Visual artists, performing artists and literary artists have been inspiring one another since time immemorial. Simonides of Keos (c. 556-468 BC) confirmed this in his "poema pictura loquens" - "a poem is a talking picture" or in a more modern expression, "a picture is worth a thousand words". Jonckheere (1989) calls this an ancient relationship, and Vanbrussel (1972) holds the opinion that imitating one art form to create another art form is a form of translation, transposition, contemplation, and discovery of artistic impressions, showing parallel interpretations rather than physical comparison. Kress and Van Leeuwen (2001) define multimodality as "[t]he use of several semiotic modes in the design of a semiotic product or event". It is this kind of research (see Kress & Van Leeuwen (2001), Jewitt (2009) and O'Halloran & Smith (2010) in the field of multimodal studies in the social semantic tradition that forms the nucleus of multimodality). O'Halloran and Smith (2010) note that cross-pollination between disciplines increased during the 21st century, and that interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary cooperation are at the core of research and social challenges. Jewitt (2013) adds to this by defining multimodality as "an interdisciplinary approach that understands communication and representation to be more than about language". The poetry film as a transposed verbal text to a multimodal text can be viewed as a hybrid, transdisciplinary and multimodal artform, combining poetry and film. Cook (2017) emphasised the fact that poetry film is an intertwined entity of word, sound, and visual image. It is an attempt to transpose and transform a poem to become a new artwork that makes the poem more accessible to people who are not necessarily open to the written word and will in effect attract a larger audience to a genre that usually has a limited market. Animated poetry film is a goldmine for discovering, amongst others, multimodal metaphors, particularly because it uses a vast variety of creative modes of meaning-making modes. It is well-known that conventional researchers of the Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT) limit their studies mainly to the conceptual metaphor as a verbal-linguistic expression. Little to no attention is paid to the nonverbal manifestations of metaphors as such (Jacobs et al., 2013: 490). Forceville (1996, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2009) and other researchers (Carrol, 1994; Cienki & Müller, 2006; Zbikowski, 2008; Koller, 2009; El Refaie, 2009; Urios-Aparisi, 2009 among others) use the CMT as a conceptual framework for the research of multimodal metaphors. Forceville (2002) defines multimodal metaphor as follows: "A phenomenon that is experienced as a unified object or gestalt is represented in its entirety in such a manner that it resembles another object or gestalt even without contextual cues." Various source- and target domains in verbal language are used, as well as domains in nonverbal communication, sounds and music to irrefutably form a complex network through which meaning is created. This article explores poetryfilm as a multimodal translation/transposition of a poem text into an animated poetry film with specific reference to Jac and Wessel Hamman's poetry film by DJ Opperman, "Stad in die Mis", and the extent to which multimodal metaphors are present in the transposed version.

Palavras-chave : Poetry film; animated poetry film; poetic metaphor; conceptual metaphor; monomodal metaphor; multimodal metaphor; semiotic metaphor; multimodality.

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