This paper entitled “Poetry/ Music Interface in William Blake’s “London:” Towards a Multimodal Semiotic Reading” aims at examining the way William Blake’s poem “London” was “re- written” by being both adopted and adapted for an audiovisual postmodern animation. It seeks to highlight why and how Blake, a poet and artist of the eighteenth century, is still omnipresent in the twenty-first century not only through his poetry and visual art, but also through the “re-writing” of his works. Gérard Genette, for instance, refers to this very act of re-writing in his theory of “Transtextuality” where he invokes the transformative effect of a “hypertext” when grafted on a “hypotext.” The focus of this paper is on the interface between the poetic and the pictorial as well as the words and the image in both poem and song as “London” has been subject to a different mode of “re-writing” namely music. The choice of the mode through which to re-introduce what was written is at the crux of the “re-writing” process and music is one of the most persuasive modes in “multimodal communication” to use Gunther Kress and Theo Van Leeuwen’s term. The multimodal discourse accentuates the importance of the different modes of communication including the words, sound, image, rhythm and colour, and stresses the importance of their added meanings; hence my choice of the multimodal semiotic analysis for this paper.
Ines Tebourski, a university teacher (professeur agregée) in the Higher Institute of Applied Studies in Humanities in Tunisia. I am teaching poetry and novel. I am also a doctoral student working on William Blake’s Illuminated Books, opting for a multimodal semiotic analysis of both the poetic and the iconic in his works.