In the 1960s and 1970s, there is, throughout Europe, a resurgence of linguistic, formal and intermedial experimentation in what traditionally would be called narrative texts. In this move towards the very questioning of the basic constituents of textual communication, not only the categories of representation (of a pre-existent external world), of narrative transmission through a narrator or narrative voice or the more or less coherent and consistent syntagmatic order of texts are tested to their breaking points. What is at stake are also the very material limits of what can be considered a text. On the one hand, these are inscribed into the textual structure itself and manifest themselves in a number of intermedial experiments that foreground the specific medial conditions of signification. On the other hand, they also question the closure of the text as a medial artifact. Looking at a range of English, French and German texts mainly from the 1970s, this seminar aims at coming to terms (also in the very sense of finding a way to speak about whatever we can read) with the texts’ narrative techniques and textual and/or intermedial strategies. At the same time, we want to investigate how these procedures are linked to ways of producing new forms of perception and/or affective economies that problematise the entire process of signification. Among the texts to be discussed will be Christine Brooke-Rose’s Between, Ann Quin’s Tripticks, Claude Simon’s Triptyque and Friederike Mayröcker’s Reise durch die Nacht.
The accompanying tutorial/reading course will offer additional opportunities for relating the textual experiments to contemporaneous developments in philosophy, literary and media theory.