Picture books, mimesis and the competing aesthetics of kinesis and stasis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It has been a long-standing presupposition in Western art that a subject's inner self is made visible by physical movement. As an index of both self-expression and self-control, represented movement is understood as not only expressing what a character feels, but also revealing that character's ethical or moral state. This presupposition has dominated picture book an since its inception, so that conventional significances attributed to bodily postures and gestures, in the context of the particular narrative roles assigned to characters, readily convey an illusion of mimetic realism and - perhaps more importantly- orient audiences attitudinally and ideologically towards the represented material.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-33
Number of pages10
JournalPapers: Explorations into Children's Literature
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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