Intermedial Elements: Building Identity and Selfhood


The given paper is a case study of intermedial elements used to build distinct cultural identities and the image of selfhood in W. S. Maugham’s novel The Moon and Sixpence (1919) set in England, France, and Polynesia. The peculiarities of intermedial language used by the writer to enlarge the contextual field of his literary artefact are demonstrated through specific examples, primarily the analysis of available ekphrastic depictions via close reading and hermeneutic methodology. Thus, through the depiction of pictorial arts and the turbulent life of a self-made painter at the turn of the century, as seen through the eyes of a fictional popular writer, Maugham collides painting and writing as arts, English and French/Polynesian cultures, Apollonian and Dionysian as creative processes, modern and primaeval as the origins of art, as well as discusses success and creative search for self- expression as artistic drivers. Ekphrastic fragmentation-type extensions of the novel build, justify, showcase the conflicts, construct binaries, question the selfhoods of two artists, and serve the purpose of establishing two diverse cultural identities and mentalities – English and non-English, own and strange, acceptable and weird, accomplished commercially and accomplished spiritually. The paper concludes that intermedial elements are actively employed to deepen the conflicts and enlarge the contextual field of the novel so that to reflect on the English mentality as opposed to the French/Polynesian as an alien element.

Author Information
Mykyta Isagulov, University of Exeter, United Kingdom

Paper Information
Conference: ACCS2023
Stream: Literary Studies / All genres/ Theory

This paper is part of the ACCS2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
Full Paper
View / Download the full paper in a new tab/window

To cite this article:
Isagulov M. (2023) Intermedial Elements: Building Identity and Selfhood ISSN: 2187-4751 The Asian Conference on Cultural Studies 2023: Official Conference Proceedings
To link to this article:

Comments & Feedback

Place a comment using your LinkedIn profile


Share on activity feed

Powered by WP LinkPress

Share this Research

Posted by James Alexander Gordon