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Publisher Description

Because of the rapid change in electronic media, the tendency to limit the concept of and research on intermediality to the relations between literature and other arts or media such as film only fails to convince. Nowadays, multiple methods, combinations, and approaches exist with regard to the phenomena of interaction between different arts in various media formats. Terms such as intermediality, multimedia, inter-art, comparative arts, the other arts, etc., are in use and interactions are approached from intertextual perspectives, postcolonial hybridism, or from the point of narratological, cognitive, (comparative) cultural, or media studies. Experts from the fields of literary criticism, cultural studies, or media and communication studies feel competent to work on the broad area of intermediality. Therefore, the greatest objection to studies such as those collected Intermedialitat analog / digital. Theorien--Methoden--Analysen, edited by Joaquim Paech and Jens Schroter, is that conceptual blurring of the object of research occurs in a poorly defined interdisciplinary context with disparate theoretical proposals and whose results often provide no more than postmodern arbitrariness hardly usable in specific interpretations of the phenomena of intermediality. Intermediality, associated historically with the exchangeability of expressive means and aesthetic conventions between different art and media forms, is a dominant trend in the arts and the media of the twentieth century owing mostly to the emergence of hypermedia paradigms. We can speak of the fusion of different arts and media into new forms and the representation conventions operating in several media. However, there ought to be no confusion with the representation of one medium in another medium, termed "remediation" by Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin. With regard to the rise of digital media, Paech and Schroter are aware that intermediality means more than the "cross-fertilization of the arts" as formulated by Oskar F. Walzel in his Wechselseitige Erhellung der Kunste already in 1917. Intermediality means more than the hybridization of the arts: its ultimate consequence is the possibility of simulation of any form of medial features through digital programming, the reconstruction and almost ad infinitum combination of different media in virtual space. Paech and Schroter have taken this into account and present a comprehensive volume on intermediality. Divided in five sections, the volume includes forty articles with theoretical proposals and intermedial analyses of all kinds (literary, analog media, digital, and performative). Many of these contributions, for example that of Jurgen E. Muller on intermediality the historiography of the media help to differentiate the multiple approaches to the mixing of different arts. Several articles are original because they include discussions on new approaches to intermediality such as, for example, rhythm (Michael Lommel), the body (Irmela Schneider), or synesthesia in general (Stefan Rieger). But above all, focus is on the distinction between analog and digital media and this makes the volume attractive and innovative. The theoretical base of many of the articles is found in an earlier volume Analog / Digital. Opposition oder Kontinuum? Zur Theorie und Geschichte einer Unterscheidung, edited by Alexander Bohnke and Jens Schroter. After theoretical considerations, the first group of studies is with focus on "literary media intermediality." Here again the primacy of literature over other media is still evident and some articles are disappointing, despite of the innovative air. Among the more traditional studies, Jochen Mecke's article is of note as he discusses the film Don Quixote by Orson Wells and argues that hypermediality is already implicit in Cervantes's novel. Not surprisingly, Mecke emphasizes the technique of mise-en-abime which is useful to describe certain intermedial processes.

Professional & Technical
September 1
Purdue University Press

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