Journal article

The Importance of Leitmotifs and Distance in the Biography of Bernard Smith

Sheridan Palmer

AUSTRALIAN HISTORICAL STUDIES | ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD | Published : 2012

Abstract

The potency between text and image is an integral part of visual and cultural disciplines. In this article the value of the image or leitmotifs is explored as a methodological tool in the genre of biography. In the case of the eminent Australian art historian Bernard Smith, the image has always had the potential to reflect the traditions and 'spirits of the past' as well as the realities and interdisciplinary contours of the present, but it is argued that leitmotifs and the image, be it the black swan, Minerva's owl or that of Antipodean distance can also tap into the sui generis of the individual, signalling the intricate shadows and larger ideas central to this major Australian intellectua..

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University of Melbourne Researchers