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The Gesamtkunstwerk as a Synergy of the Arts

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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.

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Extract

List of Contributors

Introduction: The Gesamtkunstwerk as a Synergy of the Arts

Massimo Fusillo and Marina Grishakova

Literature/Graphic Novel

Chapter 1 Perception and (Literary) Description of a Cultural Landscape as a Gesamtkunstwerk

Beatrice Nickel

Chapter 2 « L’Admirable Féerie »: La signification du genre théâtral et du Gesamtkunstwerk wagnérien dans le roman de Marcel Proust

Kirsten von Hagen

Chapter 3 Graphic Divas: Reframing the Gesamtkunstwerk in Contemporary Italian Graphic Novels

Beatrice Seligardi

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