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VOLUME 5 ISSUE 1 (2020)

Janine Hauthal, Mathias Meert, Ann Peeters, Andrea Penso and Hannah Van Hove, "Introduction"

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Rachele Gusella, Ann Peeters and Andrea Penso, "'Poeta sei tu che leggi': An Intermedial Analysis of the Italian Street Poetry Panorama"

Poetic assault, or street poetry, is a common artistic practice that involves the insertion of poetic compositions in the urban space. Through the consideration of the works of the Italian collectives Poeti der Trullo (PDT) and Movimento per l’Emancipazione della Poesia (MEP), this article aims to cast light on poetic assault as an intermedial urban artistic phenomenon. The complex intermedial nature of poetic assault is analysed through Rajewsky’s categories of media combination, medial transposition and intermedial reference. These categories are used to describe the poetic assault as an intermedial phenomenon but also to study to which extent the three categories can be involved in this artistic process that blends poetry and street art. The article also investigates how the city is perceived and interpreted by street poets as a further artistic filter capable of spreading a socio-political function: this is displayed through the analysis of the Manifesto Metroromantico (PDT) and Manifesto per l’Emancipazione della Poesia (MEP). Finally, this article shows how the city’s context can be considered as an artistic medium inseparable from the composition and able to influence the artwork’s content and form.

Keywords: street poetry, poetic assault, intermediality, urban arts, Poeti der Trullo, Movimento per l’Emancipazione della Poesia

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Sabine Hillen, "When Big Screens Meet Small Screens: Deferred Homecoming in Johan Grimonprez's Shadow World

Johan Grimonprez’s documentaries – Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y (1997), Double Take (2010) and Shadow World (2016) – use footage from the past century in contrast with more recent material. The first part of this article discusses Grimonprez’s early documentaries in relation to Svetlana Boym’s concept of reflective nostalgia. Daniel Schreiber’s Zuhause. Die Suche nach dem Ort (2017) further helps to deepen the focus on the use of the past in Grimonprez’s documentaries. He pleads for a more truthful way of approaching the concept of homecoming on the modernist art scene. More than being a conservative notion, homecoming in a global society stands at the crossroad of oppositions uniting the television set nearby to the universal images displayed on it. Finally, this article illustrates how Shadow World, with its sources, editing and discursive confrontations, opens up contradictory questions. In this sense, the notion of home is everything except an easily readable arena. The pleasure of a nostalgic narrative on television recalling the past is balanced by means of a historical counter-narrative. On the one hand, the affective charges of the past are limited to familiar images on television, adapted literature and essays. On the other hand, the past has no affective affinities with the present. And yet, as this article suggests, we have to keep it in mind to remember how the economic arm trade disaster started. 

Keywords: documentary, news on television, journalism, global drama, discourse analysis, Erving Goffman, literature, Johan Grimonprez

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Marie Devlieger, "'We Shall Die ... I Shall Die': Death and Alterity in Carlos Fuentes's The Death of Artemio Cruz"

Carlos Fuentes’s The Death of Artemio Cruz narrates the agony of the dying Artemio Cruz who is trying to make sense of his life by tracing back his memories. This article offers a new perspective that goes beyond the representative socio-political discourse of previous research by applying French philosophical reading strategies. It analyses death as a liminal space of the in-between in which Cruz fails to arrive at a coherent sense of identity. Additionally, this article argues that the novel is self-referential by posing the philosophical question of the nature of literature through Cruz’s central dying figure.

Keywords: Latin-American studies, Mexican studies, French literary theory, death in literature, Maurice Blanchot, Carlos Fuentes

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Wenjun Zhu, "Bodies in Samuel Beckett's Theatre from the Perspective of Alberto Giacometti's Sculptures" 

Certain motifs and formal features of Beckett’s plays reveal their intermedial references to sculpture. By analyzing Beckett’s texts and directorial notebooks of Happy Days, Play, Not I, Footfalls and Catastrophe, this article scrutinizes specific qualities of bodies in Beckett’s theatre that can be interpreted as intermedial references to Alberto Giacometti’s post-war statues: de-individualization, physical weakness, the oscillation between life and death, and fragmentation. Furthermore, this research explores the historical and cultural factors that contribute to these qualities, such as the traumatic wartime experience and the witnessing of death of the two artists, and Beckett’s early interest in German funerary sculptures as well as his aesthetics of inorganism. Subtracted, tormented, buried and mutilated, the bodies in Beckett’s theatre blur the boundary between the organic and the inorganic, and represent a dehumanized and reified corporeality as a symbol of deteriorating existence.

Keywords: intermedial references, body, Samuel Beckett, Alberto Giacometti, sculpture

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Lisa Chinn, "How the Mimeo-Magazine Sounds in 1960s Counterculture: The Floating Bear as Sonic Artifact" 

This paper argues for an intermedial reading of the little magazine, a type of print medium prevalent in twentieth-century literary production and dissemination, focusing in particular on the little magazine The Floating Bear (1961-1971). The Floating Bear is one of the more established little magazines of the era in terms of its influence on poets and writers in this historical period, and its reliance on the mimeograph machine for production makes it a prime example of the historical importance of the mimeographed little magazine.
Whilst scholars have noted the value of the little magazine to bring together various genres of writing within a specific medium, what has still to be fully understood is the relationship between sound, in its various forms, and the literary works found in the little magazine. This article argues that the social and cultural forces at work in this period change the nature of the little magazine from its earlier twentieth-century precursor as it moves the reader toward a sonic framework of listening to the performance taking place on the page. Thus, reading the post-1945 little magazine intermedially means reading the little magazine attuned to the sonic elements that help to produce it.

Keywords: lyric, mimeograph, sound studies, midcentury, little magazines 

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Jeremy Lakoff, "Changing Hands, Changing Forms: Dracula and Intermediation" 

Criticism of Dracula has frequently analyzed how Bram Stoker foregrounds the typewriter as a preeminent communication medium of the late 19th century, one that heralded changing gender dynamics in the secretarial workforce. What has received less attention, however, is how Mina Harker’s typewriter interfaces with other media in the novel, specifically how it is used to rapidly transcribe Dr. Seward’s phonographic diary into the textual archive she is assembling. The novel’s scenes of audio transcription reveal how deeply invested Stoker is in intermediation, the process by which protocols and practices are transposed between competing media as agents with varying expertise and preferences negotiate new forms of communication. Not only does the novel dramatize the sharing of conventions, but it also elevates that exchange to the level of form as audio information is transcoded into the typography before us. Thus, Stoker’s novel implicitly interrogates the textuality of phonograph records and what frictions might be produced by transferring their content into print. In this way, Dracula presages the multimodality that became vogue a century later, not just by the mere presence of multiple media, but also by revealing the kinds of curatorial labor that goes into bringing those media together.

Keywords: Dracula, phonograph, transcription, protocols, typography

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