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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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The Application of Literature and of Music

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Anders PETTERSSON

Umeå University, Sweden

The Concept of Application

By “application” in connection with literature and the arts, I refer to something that readers, viewers, and listeners may do: they may apply a work of art to the real world. To perform an act of application is to focus on an attitude expressed in a work of art, or a state of affairs described there, and to ask yourself, implicitly or explicitly, whether you share those attitudes, whether similar states of affairs can be found in real life, and suchlike. By performing acts of application you establish and evaluate comparisons between the work of art and the world outside the work. It is the focusing, comparing, and evaluating, taken together, that make up what I refer to as application. The perspectives on aspects of reality which open up through acts of application often affect the reader emotionally and cognitively, whether deeper or more superficially.

The word “application” was introduced into literary theory principally through its use in Hans-Georg Gadamer’s Truth and Method (see especially Gadamer 274). My concept of application may cover some of the same ground as it does in Gadamer’s work, but it is far from identical with Gadamer’s concept of application. In fact, the term “application” as such is not really important for me. What I want to highlight is the mechanism that I designate by the term: the focusing, comparing, and evaluating and their further consequences...

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