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Intersections, Interferences, Interdisciplines

Literature with Other Arts

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Edited By Haun Saussy and Gerald Gillespie

This volume advances the study of how the high arts and literature are reciprocally illuminating and interactive. Seventeen scholars from North America, Asia, Africa, and Europe demonstrate the dynamics of cross-referentiality and mixtures involving also newer and popular arts and media: photography, film, video, comics, dance, opera, computer imaging, and more. They consider an expanded universe of discourses embracing contemporary science as well as traditional subject matters. Discussions of theoretical and methodological approaches keep company here with intensively focused case studies of works in which discourses and media establish new relationships. Together, the chapters constitute a dazzling introduction to the diverse realm of imaginative products that the human mind can conjure in pondering the «when», «where», and «how» of existence.
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Preface

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Steven P. SONDRUP

President, International Comparative Literature Association

The essays in this volume are based on a selection of presentations made at the colloquium held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the executive council of the International Comparative Literature Association in Chicago, Illinois, USA between September 5–8, 2012. The topic the participants were invited to consider was “Intersections, Interferences, Interdisciplines: Literature with Other Arts.” The topic and the venue were arrestingly complementary in that the colloquium took place at the University of Chicago’s new Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, a remarkable facility designed specifically “to foster collaboration and creative inquiry across the artistic spectrum.” The genuine hospitality of the University of Chicago was graciously extended by its president, Robert J. Zimmer, who personally welcomed the participants, and by the most cordial organizer and host of the meeting and colloquium, Haun Saussy.

The specificity of the colloquium’s topic opened doors to wide ranging presentations. The particular focus on “Intersections, Interferences, and Interdisciplines: Literature with Other Arts” elicited imaginative thinking that extended well beyond the often more bland and less provocative cliché “Literature and the Other Arts,” an issue that has a long history of debate within the ICLA. The manner in which different art forms are conjoined in such a way that they are mutually supportive and enhancing certainly played a role, but presentations on the more rarely broached possibility of less than congenial relationships also commanded attention...

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