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Revisiting Style in Literary and Cultural Studies

Interdisciplinary Articulations

Edited By Jasmin Herrmann, Moritz Ingwersen, Björn Sonnenberg-Schrank and Olga Ludmila Tarapata

The collected volume brings together leading scholars from a broad range of disciplines in the humanities to interrogate the productivity of style as an element of cultural expression and a parameter of cultural analysis. Despite its ubiquity in examinations of artistic singularity or postulations of epochal patterns, style remains a notoriously elusive concept. Suspicious of monolithic definitions, the contributions assembled in this volume address style from a multiplicity of methodological and conceptual angles, drawing from fields that include literary studies, film and media studies, post-structuralist philosophy, philosophy of science, and American cultural studies.

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9 Observations on Rhythmic Style

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Le style est l’homme même: the style is the man

- Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon, Discours sur le style

Abstract In many ways, the twentieth century can be regarded as art’s attempts to escape the “tyranny of meter” (the phrase is Robert Schumann’s). In his essay, Bernd Herzogenrath asks the question if there is a way to think rhythm otherwise? Maybe the answer to this all-too human tyranny of the repetition of the same is something inhuman—in|human rhythms. With the example of David Dunn, this essay tries to show how with the idea of the human becoming a geological (i.e., non-human) force itself, art has the responsibility to create an awareness of how we live not only in the world, but also are part of that world. A music that ‘performs’ these ‘cosmic dimensions’ of the interdependence of human and nonhuman, by focusing on the in|human of the concept ‘human’ might also teach us something in regard to artistic (or musical) form—these rhythmic ‘relations of velocity’ ultimately reveal rhythm as the in|human nonlinear pulsation of ‘a life.’

Keywords: Rhythm, meter, refrain, in|human, sound, Anthropocene, David Dunn, insects

In the following few pages, I would like to comment on the notion of rhythm as style—in terms of a ‘rhythmic signature’ that appears as a defining style related not only to humans and territories, but also to animals: a rhythmic style both human and...

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