restricted access Ekphrasis as an Analytical Mode in Biography: Finding Vida Lahey’s Romantic “Character”

This paper studies the earliest known extant work by Vida Lahey, Souvenir of the West Coast, as a means for the biographer to imagine how her character may be better understood through it. After outlining biography’s epistemological terrain, I argue that the hybridity of biographical narrative lends itself to ekphrasis as biographical method. With a keen awareness of W. J. Mitchell’s recognition that ekphrasis is a relationship of power, knowledge, and desire in the field of representation, an image from Souvenir is then used to test the method-related argument and demonstrate Lahey’s Romantic character.