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Theory and Practice (1450-1600)
Investigating Aesthetic Practices from Early Modernity to the Digital Age

Abstract

With the authorized edition of Henrik Ibsen’s complete works in German as a focal point, this paper analyzes the functions of authorization in the 19th century, seen in light of the European publishing trade and international copyright regulations. Special attention is paid to the conditions under which translations could precede the publication of the original text, allowing the original and its translation(s) to be published simultaneously. It is argued that Ibsen’s oeuvre, conceptualized by the author himself not simply as everything he had ever written but as a continuous and coherent whole, did not emerge primarily in the context of Norwegian or Scandinavian literature, but rather in the context of authorizing translations and the planning of a uniform German edition.

Abstract

This article approaches Ludwik Fleck’s work from a literary perspective. It argues that Fleck is not only concerned with how scientific facts emerge, but, in accordance with his broader epistemology, with how different knowledges of reality emerge, through intra- and intercollective migrations of concepts and thoughts through different styles of thinking. Thus, in order to comprehend such cognitive traversal, interpretation, which I take to be suggested in Fleck’s work, is required. In this, I draw on the work of Andrzej Przyłębski and Dimitri Ginev, who see an implicit hermeneutics anticipated in Fleck’s work. These writings are supplemented and expanded by considering the concept of style, including Fleck’s own style, before examining what role literature, art, and language play in Fleck’s conception of thought style and thought collective. To this end, Fleck’s article »The Problem of Epistemology« from 1936, which has received little scholarly attention so far, is highlighted.

Abstract

The present article is concerned with the term realism. It develops an argument to distinguish between two different types: epistemically reflexive and non-reflexive realism. Wherever a fiction prompts its readers to distinguish between speaker-utterances from utterances not tied to a fictive character realism of the epistemically non-reflexive variety is at hand. Such a fiction posits a reality not to be reduced to the conceptual scheme of its fictive inhabitants. Realism of the epistemically reflexive sort indicates the relativity of the very conceptual fabric by which utterances not tied to a fictive entity give access to a fictive reality. In such a game of make believe there is, ontologically speaking, no room for the conjecture of a reality providing its fictive inhabitants as well as its non-fictive interpreters with concepts to name things as they are in themselves. How this comes to pass is shown by making use of Roland Barthes’ famous term ›reality effect‹ and subsequently illustrated by using the example of Franz Innerhofer’s novel Schöne Tage (Beautiful Days, 1975). The main argument is framed by a discussion of 19th century literary realism, on the one hand, and some concluding remarks on the potential cognitive benefits of epistemically reflexive realism, on the other hand. Whereas epistemically non-reflexive realism is a part of the family resemblance of a large portion of 19th century narrative fiction, so-called poetic realism is, according to the present article, to be considered as epistemically reflexive realism. Finally, it is argued that whenever a fiction, so to speak, loosens the connection between a fictive reality and certain concepts by suggesting the conceptual relativity of its own prescriptions to imagine certain things as fictionally true readers might be all the more willing to transfer those very same concepts into their own world.