Literature with Other Arts
Edited By Haun Saussy and Gerald Gillespie
The Application of Literature and of Music
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...
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.