Although numerous studies have been devoted to the relations between painting and literature, surprisingly few have focused on the photography/text relationship. Photography-in-text is a hybrid product that gives rise to a hybrid textual genre and so renews the iconotext. The specific characteristics of photography have left their mark upon fiction: they have generated new ways of seeing and, consequently, of reading. This essay explores how photography has renewed fiction and continues to do so through its specific properties. In addition, its particular position within word and image studies is examined. As a result, one can envisage a poetics of the photographic visual and, conversely, lay the foundations for a critical idiom: a metatextual practice and intermedial criticism resting on the image as a means whereby to study fiction through the lens of what may be called the “pictorial third.”

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