Intertextuality in The Dial

The Dial was a counter-culture magazine first published in 1889. Very much created as art for art’s sake, the magazine was anti-capitalist, for The Dial rejected advertisements and an adherence to a specific theme. Rather, The Dial‘s theme was eclecticism; and the magazine betrayed a conglomeration of artistic ideas and expressions as a counter-culture artistic movement.

The Dial‘s incorporation of both the written and artistic forms worked intertextually. Many artworks in particular were palimpsests for the work of writers or other artists. As no images were physically proximate to the works they would illustrate, the artwork recreated original works that were sometimes also representative of textual works.

“The Lotos-Eaters” by Charles Shannon | original artwork by Reginald Savage

Charles Shannon’s reproduction of Reginald Savage’s “The Lotos-Eaters” is an example. The original poem was published by Sir Alfred Tennyson. Thus, Savage’s work is a visual medium for the textual medium of the original poem; and Shannon’s reproduction of the work for The Dial is another visual medium for the initial visual representation. The Dial‘s artwork, similar to pieces like “The Lotos-Eaters”, worked intertextually with the written form in order to create palimpsestic pieces that blended the artistic mediums of both the written and visual form.

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