This paper focuses on the relation between icon and depiction and their equally central role both in verbal and in nonverbal artistic texts. For this purpose, I will examine the contact points between Jakobson and Bakhtin’s theory of text. In particular, I will dwell on Jakobson’s “Quest for the essence of language” and on Bakhtin’s “The Problem of the Text in Linguistics, Philology, and the Human Sciences.” Both Jakobson and Bakhtin build their idea of text on this dialogue between different dimensions. According to Bakhtin dialogical logic is the specific logic of the text. Though indispensable in the initial phase of understanding, the first is reductive if it claims to exhaust the semantic import of the text. Both in Bakhtin and in Jakobson, this idea of text based upon a dialogue between different dimensions implies that sign expression cannot be exhausted in representation because there is something which exceeds representation. I will call this excedent element “depiction.” Depiction is what is at stake in the artistic text, what exceeds the symbolic level of representation. “Depiction” can be configured, both in verbal and non-verbal text, as an idea of iconicity which exceeds resemblance and immediate visibility. Keywords: word; image; iconicity; depiction; intertextuality
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