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Introduction:

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Current: Danbury, CT, United States
Welcome! A few years ago, I discovered an application that artists employ in their works to bring cultural awareness to their audiences. Having discerned this semiotic theory that applies to literature, music, art, film, and the media, I have devoted the blog, "Theory of Iconic Realism" to explore this theory. The link to the publisher of my book is below. If you or your university would like a copy of this book for your library or if you would like to review it for a scholarly journal, please contact the Edwin Mellen Press at the link listed below. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Thank you for visiting. I hope you will find the information insightful. ~ Dr. Jeanne Iris
To view my page on the Edwin Mellen Press website, please click below:

Announcements:

I have demonstrated or will demonstrate the application of this theory at the following locations:
April, 2016 @ University of Notre Dame:
A 'Daughter of Attila' Speaks: The Semiotic Theory of Iconic Realism in the Cultural Identity of Irish Celts and Magyars
November, 2016 @ Massachusetts Maritime Academy:
"A Terrible Beauty is Born"...The Semiotic Theory of Iconic Realism and William Butler Yeats' poem, Easter 1916
November 2017 @ Georgetown University:
Harmony of the Spheres and the Semiotic Theory of Iconic Realism in Sydney Owenson's Epistolary Tale, The Wild Irish Girl

Dates pending: I will present the theory of iconic realism at universities and art institutes which have purchased my book.



17 August, 2017

Edvard Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite, Music and Iconic Realism



         A delicate melody flows from a flute. One by one, the oboe, then strings, echo this melody until the orchestra swells with the soft, yet intensely resonating melody. Eventually, every section of the orchestra sings this song of peaceful resolve, as the audience awakens to Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite Number 1, Opus 46.  Grieg introduces the gentlest instruments of the orchestra and gradually blends in the strength of the entire string and brass sections with a calm resonance a listening audience could associate with morning sunrise. Grieg’s opus illustrates iconic realism as each member of the audience attends to this aural depiction of the dawn of something within its consciousness, interpreting possibility in variation with a theme.

       Iconic structures in music include those resonating mechanisms that represent a specific sound source recognized by a community. These aural sources could include human made instruments, the human voice or natural sounds common within a specific environment. For example, the oboe is a wind instrument that produces sounds very close in frequency and intensity to the human voice. In many baroque pieces of music, which were composed during the enlightenment of human culture, the oboe is a featured instrument, which establishes the iconic nature of the oboe within a musical piece constructed of other wind instruments.

         Since the human voice would not naturally be situated in a musical ensemble, the placement of this icon for the human voice provides the listener an opportunity to attend to this iconic realism within the musical genre of artistic expression and feel the dissonant harmonics that naturally resolve to consonance when the oboe blends with the instrumentation. This aural exercise incorporates resonating sound waves with the listener’s memory, which leads to an interpretation of the sound and thus, the association of meaning to the specific sound. 
(from my book, The Theory of Iconic Realism: Understanding the Arts through Cultural Context)

02 August, 2017

"The Field of Dreams" and Iconic Realism


Photo of Derek Jeter, formerly of the NY Yankees, from Google Images

From my book, page 57: 
An example of iconic realism in a film would be the baseball field within the 1989 film, Field of Dreams, based on the novel written by W. P. Kinsella and the screenplay written and directed by Phil Alden Robinson. Throughout the film, the audience knows that the mysterious baseball diamond, carved out of an Iowan cornfield by farmer Ray Kinsella, connects with the sport of baseball. Two iconic factors are present, the sport, which many view as America’s heart and the location, which is the heartland of America.

The realism is the actual grass, the parameters of the field, which consist of the edge of a cornfield and the players, themselves, which are the Chicago Black Socks, a team which had gone through a series of legalities during its prime season. The baseball players are ghosts from this infamous team, who simply wish to play out eternity on a ball field. As the plot unfolds, Ray’s true reason to construct the field revolves around ‘having a catch’ with his father. Therefore, the iconic feature of an authentic baseball field, placed in the middle of a cornfield in Iowa, a very unlikely place for a baseball field, elicits the cultural awareness from the main character. Ray’s illusions of his father were detached from a realistic understanding of his father’s passion, for he very much like Ray, himself, was a hardworking young man, who loved baseball.

Therefore, Robinson’s use of iconic realism in the Field of Dreams illustrates a personal mission of opening the consciousness of America to the conflict within the heart of its people and traditions. The use of illusion and human consciousness illuminate the struggle with personal motivation that produces results as stated repeatedly throughout the film, “If you build it, he will come.” This feature of iconic realism in the Field of Dreams adapts well to contemporary statements of community in iconic characterizations and the realistic dynamics of connection and detachment.


26 July, 2017

Shakespeare's "Venus and Adonis" and Iconic Realism (Click title to hear musical rendition of "Venus and Adonis" by John Blow (1649-1708)


"Venus and Adonis" by Francois Lemoyne (1729)

Iconic realism is evident in William Shakespeare's epyllion, "Venus and Adonis." He places these two beings of varying mortality in a lush setting, similar to the Garden of Eden, but the goddess of Love finds it impossible to obtain the object of her desire, for his own desires and eventual mortality triumph. Through his representation of this immortal creature in conjunction with a mortal setting and circumstances, Shakespeare uses the goddess of Love to elucidate his readers of the importance of suffering as a vital aspect in the human experience.

Painting of William Shakespeare by William Rock
Chinese Calligraphy of Hamlet's Soliloquy by Huang Xiang