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Habitus in Habitat III

Synaesthesia and Kinaesthetics

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Edited By Joerg Fingerhut, Sabine Flach and Jan Söffner

A myriad of sensations inform and direct us when we engage with the environment. To understand their influence on the development of our habitus it is important to focus on unifying processes in sensing. This approach allows us to include phenomena that elude a rather narrow view that focuses on each of the five discrete senses in isolation. One of the central questions addressed in this volume is whether there is something like a sensual habitus, and if there is, how it can be defined. This is especially done by exploring the formation and habituation of the senses in and by a culturally shaped habitat. Two key concepts, Synaesthesia and Kinaesthetics, are addressed as essential components for an understanding of the interface of habitat and the rich and multisensory experience of a perceiving subject.
At a Berlin-based conference Synaesthesia and Kinaesthetics, scholars from various disciplines gathered to discuss these issues. In bringing together the outcome of these discussions, this book gives new insights into the key phenomena of sensory integration and synaesthetic experiences, it enriches the perspectives on sensually embedded interaction and its habituation, and it expands this interdisciplinary inquiry to questions about the cultures of sensory habitus.

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Modernities

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Correspondances – Synaesthesia, Senses, and Modernity GERHARD SCHARBERT Je finis par trouver sacré le désordre de mon esprit. Arthur Rimbaud On the 10th of October 1863, the English poet Algernon Charles Swinburne re- ceived a letter from his Parisian colleague Charles Baudelaire to recommend his old friend Nadar. Baudelaire took this opportunity to thank Swinburne for his exuberant review of the Fleurs du Mal he published in the journal The Spectator, and mentioned a strange experience that happened to him in a similar situation when he met a German composer: “One day, Mr R. Wagner jumped on me to thank me for a text I wrote on Tannhäuser, and told me: ‘I never thought that a French writer could understand so easily, so many things.’ As I am not particu- larly a patriot, I took for me all the grace of his compliment.”1 Richard Wagner had good reasons to be happy and delighted, as he met an understanding man, a man of taste, who was able to put aside the prejudices of his nation and time, virtues the composer regrettably lacked at times. It must also be mentioned that Paris, the capital of the arts, did not treat Wagner well. The so-called high soci- ety, reacting in a philistine and nationalistic way, pretended that the noble image of Civilisation Française has been severely damaged by these circumstances. Baudelaire was entirely devoid of the kind of nationalism represented by the outcry against. Baudelaire immediately and clearly recognized the...

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