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Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies / Revue de l'Association Internationale de Sémiotique

Editor-in-Chief: Danesi, Marcel

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.275
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Impact per Publication (IPP) 2015: 0.191

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‘The emergence of an organic form out of a fluid medium’: The dynamic concept of work of art in German Romanticism

Magdolna Orosz1

1Professor at Eötvös-Loránd University <magdolna.orosz@web.de>

Citation Information: Semiotica. Volume 2008, Issue 170, Pages 63–77, ISSN (Online) 1613-3692, ISSN (Print) 0037-1998, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/SEM.2008.048, June 2008

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This article argues in favor of the idea that works of art in Early German Romanticism, as conceived of by Friedrich Schlegel and Novalis, were conceptually considered as an integrated whole, consisting of very different and diverging elements that determine each other in a dynamic process. In this respect, the aesthetic views of this literary movement can be related to some basic postulations about dynamic systems, chaos, order, and emergence. The assumptions of system theory as well as of chaos theory can lead to their application to postmodern works of art that can be described by the categories of nonlinearity, self-reflectivity, irreversibility, and self-organization. Moreover, it can be supposed that these categories apply also to Romantic works of art. The article demonstrates it through the analysis of some late narrative texts of E.T.A. Hoffmann, who could be considered a very modern or an avant la lettre postmodern author.

Keywords:: works of art/literary texts as dynamic systems; German Romanticism; E.T.A. Hoffmann; narrative self-reflectivity; intertextuality

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