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  1. Komparatistik : Jahrbuch der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft ; 2017
    Published: 11.11.2019

    In recent years, the interest in theory which has once been a moving force of academic research in the field of literary studies appears to have decreased. The status of theory, its relevance and appropriateness for the understanding of literature... more

     

    In recent years, the interest in theory which has once been a moving force of academic research in the field of literary studies appears to have decreased. The status of theory, its relevance and appropriateness for the understanding of literature have been put into doubt. Faced with this observation, some critics have even suggested that we have now entered into a new era of research which can retrospectively be identified as the era "after theory". Against the background of such pronouncements and to a certain extent in opposition to them, the investigations proposed here wish to uphold the idea of the utility and indeed the need for theoretical approaches to literature. To appreciate the status of theory and its possible contribution to a deepened understanding of literature, it is useful not to focus exclusively on the distinction or supposed divide between literature and theory. Instead we should pay attention to what links and unites them. This common ground or common denominator of literature and theory consists in the dimension of language. Furnishing the intellectual material from which both domains of articulation are formed, language constitutes at once the key element of literature and a principal concern of theory. [...] The present volume collects the papers presented in the context of the panel "Languages of Theory" at the conference of the "International Association of Comparative Literature" (ICLA) at Vienna in July 2016. As stated above, our aim is to examine the philological or linguistic preoccupations of current approaches in literary and cultural theory, to look into the (pre-)history of theory's engagement with linguistic concerns and to unfold its conceptual and semantic implications. Taking our cue from the title of the ICLA conference, "The Many Languages of Comparative Literature", we have found it to be a rewarding task to raise the issue of the "languages of theory" and to promote its further exploration and analysis. It is our contention that theoretical approaches and reflections do not only rightfully hold their place in comparative literature studies but that it is also worthwhile to interrogate their conceptual genealogies and terminological choices, their styles of thought and argument as well as their various linguistic engagements. The articles united in this volume have taken up this challenge and attempt to elucidate the intricate relationship of language and theory in exemplary case studies.

     

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    Source: CompaRe
    Language: Multiple languages
    Media type: Part of a periodical
    Format: Online
    ISBN: 978-3-8498-1292-8
    DDC Categories: 800; 801
    : Aisthesis Verlag
    Subjects: Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft; Literaturtheorie
    Rights: Veröffentlichungsvertrag für Publikationen
  2. Towards a visual middle voice : crisis, dispossession, and spectrality in Spain's hologram protest

    As a legitimizing mechanism for a doctrine of 'no alternatives,' crisis rhetoric tends to rely on distinctions between 'right' and 'wrong' that often turn political decisions into pseudo-choices between a legitimate and an illegitimate (even... more

     

    As a legitimizing mechanism for a doctrine of 'no alternatives,' crisis rhetoric tends to rely on distinctions between 'right' and 'wrong' that often turn political decisions into pseudo-choices between a legitimate and an illegitimate (even catastrophic) alternative. This binary logic also pervades the ways subjects are cast in this rhetoric as either active or passive, guilty or innocent, masters or victims. [...] The rhetorical reliance on the oppositions of passive/active or victims/perpetrators extends to several contexts of 'crisis' in Europe today, as Maria Boletsi shows. Against the backdrop of the crisis rhetoric and the monologic narratives and dualistic distinctions it produces, the need for alternative forms of expression is amplified. In this article, Boletsi makes a case for the "middle voice" as an expressive modality that can introduce alternative 'grammars' of subjectivity and agency to those on which dominant crisis rhetoric hinges. [...] To that end, Boletsi centers on a peculiar public protest in front of the Spanish Parliament in Madrid in April 2015, opposing a (then) newly introduced Spanish law—the "Law of Citizen Security" - which significantly restricted the citizens' freedom of assembly and expression in the name of security and crisis-management. Unlike any other protest, this one was not carried out by actual people, but by holographic projections of protesters. This 'hologram protest' put forward a form of dispossession, whereby bodies asserted presence in public space through their absence. Unsettling the boundaries between fiction and reality, materiality and immateriality, power and impotence, past and present, the protest fostered a spectral space that functioned as a visual analogue of the middle voice. The spectral subjectivity that this 'ghost march' enacted, both underscored and challenged politically induced conditions of dispossession and precarity, through and against these conditions. As a result, the protest recast crisis as a critical threshold from which alternative narratives of the present and the future can emerge.

     

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    Source: CompaRe
    Language: English
    Media type: Article
    Format: Online
    ISBN: 978-3-8498-1292-8
    DDC Categories: 800
    : Aisthesis Verlag
    Subjects: Griechenland; Spanien; Krise; Rhetorik; Medium <Linguistik>; Protest
    Rights: Veröffentlichungsvertrag für Publikationen
  3. Poetics of the bed : narrated everydayness as language of theory

    In Carl Barks' 1963 comic strip "The Invisible Intruder", the bed becomes the main theme of the story. We get to know how Uncle Scrooge became a creative and successful entrepreneur. Since his parents were too poor to provide a proper sleeping place... more

     

    In Carl Barks' 1963 comic strip "The Invisible Intruder", the bed becomes the main theme of the story. We get to know how Uncle Scrooge became a creative and successful entrepreneur. Since his parents were too poor to provide a proper sleeping place for their son, Scrooge had to sleep in a cabinet drawer. Therefore, Scrooge's only aim was to buy himself a bed. His capitalist creativity is, as he himself admits, driven by the "desire for a better bed." With the economic growth of his company, his bed becomes bigger too. But in the end, he throws out his enormous mattress because it is too sensitive to the vibrations caused by the money rammer in the money bin; and moreover, the investigation into the cause of the vibrations became far too expensive. Eventually, Scrooge is returning to his childhood bed: the cabinet drawer. What is striking about this story is not the idea that objects of everyday culture play a leading role within a narrative; it is the fact that the usual cultural function of furniture is altered in a significant way. The misapplication of the drawer draws attention to the object of everyday culture as signifier of the everyday experience in capitalist societies. The function of the bed is no longer defined by criteria of good sleep but of economic calculation. The bed thereby becomes an agency within the narrative that questions the stability of the cultural and linguistic semantics of the everyday. In the following, I will press the point that the representation of the bed in literary texts from Homer to Kafka can be read as an implicit linguistic theory of cultural signification.

     

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    Source: CompaRe
    Language: English
    Media type: Article
    Format: Online
    ISBN: 978-3-8498-1292-8
    DDC Categories: 800
    : Aisthesis Verlag
    Subjects: Homerus; Boccaccio, Giovanni; Jean Paul; Kafka, Franz; Bett <Motiv>; Alltag <Motiv>
    Rights: Veröffentlichungsvertrag für Publikationen
  4. Stephen Greenblatt and the making of a new philology of culture

    The rise of the New Historicism or Cultural Poetics in the nineteen-eighties introduced a new school of cultural theory and inaugurated the end of the so-called New Criticism in English studies at American universities and beyond. As a founding... more

     

    The rise of the New Historicism or Cultural Poetics in the nineteen-eighties introduced a new school of cultural theory and inaugurated the end of the so-called New Criticism in English studies at American universities and beyond. As a founding member of the movement Stephen Greenblatt is closely associated with the New Historicism, which emerged in the 1980s. [...] What, then, are the key terms and principal aims of Greenblatt's innovative approach? The contextualization of poetic texts within cultural and political history as well as within an intellectual network of different discourses seemed vital and productive. [...] New Historicists operate by fusing two key issues in criticism since the 1960s: the 'linguistic turn' of post-structuralist and deconstructive criticism, and a return to historical readings. [...] Moreover, Stephen Greenblatt, proves to be very language-oriented in his studies. [...] In the following, Annette Simonis' contribution investigates on which levels and in what different respects Greenblatt focuses on (poetic) language and script as key elements and the foundation stone of modern cultures in his recent book "The Swerve. How the World Became Modern" (2011). Moreover, it explores in how far Greenblatt, in the wake of a recent material turn in the studies of culture, considers the process of writing itself as a crucial component in the analysis of cultural development, which he therefore closely examines in its particular material and aesthetic dimensions. As will become evident, the author is fascinated by Renaissance book culture serving simultaneously as a vehicle of intellectual ideas and a medium of art. It seems rewarding in many respects to analyze more closely Greenblatt's recent publication on the Renaissance. On the one hand the work indicates a careful reorientation in new historicist methodology, reflected in the author's attitude towards the texts themselves, which now takes into consideration the material basics and environments of writing as a cultural technique sui generis; on the other the book testifies Greenblatt's surprising accomplishments as an essayist and storyteller, as he elegantly moves on the borderline between fiction and non-fiction.

     

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    Source: CompaRe
    Language: English
    Media type: Article
    Format: Online
    ISBN: 978-3-8498-1292-8
    DDC Categories: 800; 801
    : Aisthesis Verlag
    Subjects: Greenblatt, Stephen; New historicism; Schriftkunst; Schreiben; Buchproduktion
    Rights: Veröffentlichungsvertrag für Publikationen
  5. Creating notions of transculturality : the work of Fernando Ortiz and his impact on Europe

    In the age of globalization, we cannot reflect about Comparative Literary Studies and "Languages of Theory" without contemplating how cross-liminality and transculturality might be lived in a mobile, medialized and rapidly changing world. Art and... more

     

    In the age of globalization, we cannot reflect about Comparative Literary Studies and "Languages of Theory" without contemplating how cross-liminality and transculturality might be lived in a mobile, medialized and rapidly changing world. Art and literature have always mirrored, transmitted and evaluated critically social, moral, and aesthetical values. How, then, can this task be fulfilled on a transnational literary and cultural level in a rapidly growing world community of letters, authors and readers? In this paper, Dagmar Reichardt promotes the notion of "transculturality", first proposed as a basic model of conviviality by the Cuban sociologist Fernando Ortiz (1881-1969) in the 1940s and then, from the 1990s onwards, taken up and adapted, both terminologically and conceptually, to Third Millennium culture by the German philosopher and theorist of postmodernity Wolfgang Welsch (b. 1946). Reichardt argues that at this moment in history, in the interest of peacemaking and sustainability and for the sake of humanity, transcultural skills and a shared understanding of transcultural coexistence, both theoretical and practical, are indispensable. From a methodological point of view that is related to the History of Knowledge, Reichardt begins chronologically by introducing the work of Fernando Ortiz and then briefly tracing the reception of his most crucial cultural analysis in order to connect, in a second sub-chapter, its theoretical interests to Wolfgang Welsch's publications. In a third step, Reichardt briefly demonstrates the potential of the transcultural approach by showing paradigmatically its applicability to a colonial (Italian) novel, reread, as it were, through a transcultural lens, before coming to her conclusions.

     

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    Source: CompaRe
    Language: English
    Media type: Article
    Format: Online
    ISBN: 978-3-8498-1292-8
    DDC Categories: 800
    : Aisthesis Verlag
    Subjects: Ortiz, Fernando; Rezeption; Welsch, Wolfgang; Flaiano, Ennio; Tempo di uccidere
    Rights: Veröffentlichungsvertrag für Publikationen