Show Less
Restricted access

The Gesamtkunstwerk as a Synergy of the Arts


Edited By Massimo Fusillo and Marina Grishakova

Conceived by Wagner as a way to recover the synthesis of arts at the core of Greek tragedy, the Gesamtkunstwerk played a significant role in post-Romantic and avant-garde aesthetics. It was designed to regenerate and defend the public function of art against mass culture and technology, yet at the same time depended on them in an ambivalent relationship manifested by its various realizations. The book reconceives the "total work of art" as a variation of intermediality, a practice that subverts any essentialist vision of artistic languages through complex interplay and blending of perceptions, amplified by new media and the syncretic nature of the cyberspace. The Gesamtkunstwerk can no longer be considered a Hegelian synthesis of arts or a Romantic and Wagnerian fusion of languages: it involves a synergy of different arts and media and captures the digital age’s principle of open textuality without any hierarchy and any organicist connotations. This book reveals the vitality of modern and contemporary Gesamtkunstwerk by mapping its presence in various arts and media.

Show Summary Details
Restricted access

About the editors

About the editors


Massimo Fusillo is Professor of Literary Criti cism and Comparati ve Literature at the University of L’Aquila; he is also a member of the Academia Europaea. He is the author of The Fetish. Litt erature, cinema, visual art, and the coeditor of Imaginary Films in Literature.

Marina Grishakova is Professor in Comparati ve Literature at the University of Tartu, Estonia; and a member of the Academia Europea. She is the author of The Models of Space, Time and Vision in V. Nabokov’s Fiction and the coeditor of Intermediality and Storytelling and Narrati ve Complexity: Cogniti on, Embodiment, Evoluti on.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.