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1 Intermedialität als neues Paradigma der Literaturwissenschaft? Plädoyer für eine literaturzentrierte Erforschung der Grenzüberschreitungen zwischen Wortkunst und anderen Medien am Beispiel von Virginia Woolfs “The String Quartet” [1996]

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Chapter Summary

‘Intermediality’ has become a fashionable centre of interest in today’s cultural and literary criticism. While ‘interart studies’ – the traditional domain of intermedial research – have tended, as a branch of ‘Comparative Arts’ or ‘Comparative Literature’ separate from the national philologies, to deal with all sorts of contacts between literature and such ‘high’ arts as music or painting, this essay argues in favour of a literature-centred investigation of contacts between verbal art and works of other media regardless of their status as high art and above all for a (re-)integration of such investigations into traditional national philologies. Presenting a short survey of some intermedial contacts occurring in the history of English fiction and taking Virginia Woolf’s “The String Quartet” as a main example of how another medium can shape fiction, the essay also shows that the concept of intermediality does not necessarily divert attention from the genuine concerns of ‘Literaturwissenschaft’, as conservative scholars might fear, but on the contrary is a valid tool for the elucidation of important theoretical and historical aspects of literature.



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