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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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19 [Non]Style is Feeling: Direct Tenderness from Sirk, Fassbinder, and Haynes, to Berressem

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1

Style is feeling—in its most elegant and economic expression.

- Clive in Providence

Each sheet of past, each age calls up all the mental functions simultaneously… What is loaded with all these functions, each time, is feeling.

- Gilles Deleuze, Cinema 2

Someone like Rainer Werner Fassbinder was completely taken off guard by the direct tenderness … in these Sirk films. … Tenderness. Human fragility. But what Sirk did for Fassbinder, I think, was show that you could be extremely simple and very direct with your narrative language in a movie but show people suffering, show people who you identify with not due to their free agency … but actually people who you identify with because of their captivity in rigid societies that we all share.

- Todd Haynes, “Direct Tenderness: From Fassbinder to Sirk and Back”

Sirk has made the tenderest films I know.

- Rainer Werner Fassbinder, “Six Films by Douglas Sirk”

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