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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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12 Walking and Falling in Style


Abstract: The article explores media and gender-dimensions of walking-styles in cultural theory (Marcel Mauss, Gilles Deleuze, Marc Shell), literature (Thomas Bernhard, Samuel Beckett) and Popmusic (Velvet Underground, Laurie Anderson). It argues, that media are of central relevance for the construction of techniques of the body and that disruptions, such as stumbling, are the basis of aesthetisation: of making-style. The article furthermore demonstrates, that literary techniques relate to body-techniques the way stuttering relates to stumbling: The first can be considered as a symptom of oversensitivity to language like the latter can be considered an index of the normativity of learned movement patterns.

Keywords: Stutter, stumbling, falling, repetition, media, body-techniques, Gilles Deleuze, Laurie Anderson

The Velvet Underground knew it already, of course: The way you walk is the way you talk. But then, different registers of aisthesis are addressed immediately and also, a gendered split of doing and perceiving is provoked: See the way she walks, hear the way she talks. Why not: Feel the way your fellow traveler walks and talks? Let yourself be drawn into the very way of walking and carried away by the sound of the voice. Repeat after VU: Femmes fatales cultivate a style of walking and talking that attracts an objectifying gaze. Ways of walking and talking have been objectified in many other ways. Furthermore the study of walking is closely associated with film: It was in the study of the mechanics of walking that proto-filmic techniques of seeing were...

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