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22 Wiederholung bzw. Ähnlichkeit in der (Sprach-)Kunst als sinnstiftende formale Selbstreferenz [2014]

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Chapter Summary

[Repetition and similarity are related phenomena of a nearly ubiquitous nature. They can be found both in the natural world and in man-made artifacts, including media, which renders them essentially transmedial phenomena. The essay focuses on their potential to create extra meaning in works of literature, but also illustrates this potential with some examples from other arts (music and architecture in particular). After some general theoretical and typological reflections on semiotic repetition/similarities in the context of other forms of repetition and similarity, conditions under which these phenomena will most likely be perceived in the arts and literature are discussed. Special attention is given to the device of ‘foregrounding’ and the awareness of (verbal) art itself as a cognitive frame which tends to raise expectations of meaning in all parts of a given work or text even if this text was originally only a pragmatic, perhaps even banal, utterance. In addition, forms and functions of repetitions and similarities are illustrated with various literary examples, including texts by Shakespeare, Charles Dickens and P.B. Shelley. The conclusion highlights the special relationship between repetition/similarity and meaningful de-automatization in literature and other arts.] 



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