Lili - Heft 149
Thema: Im Dickicht der Städte II: Literatur, Kunst und Film
Herausgeber dieses Heftes:
Durcheinander von Kostbarem und Garstigem“: Das
feuilletonistische Berliner Großstadtbild als Dokument der
A jumble of the precious and the nasty“: Modernity and the representation of Berlin in the Feuilleton (short journalistic prose)
bei Käte Hamburger: Zum Briefnachlass der
Literaturwissenschaftlerin. Mit einem Brief von Roman
Interdisciplinary border crossings: the correspondence of Käte Hamburger. With a previously unpublished letter by Roman Ingarden
Krankheitsdiskurse am Wort. Die Rhetorik der erzählten
Welt in Annette Kolbs Roman Das Exemplar
Let discourses on illness do the talking. The rhetoric of the narrated world in Annette Kolb’s novel Das Exemplar
Das vorliegende Themenheft knüpft an Heft 148 der Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, „Im Dickicht der Städte I“, thematisch und inhaltlich an. Auch hier stehen die Diskurse der Städte im Mittelpunkt, die Modi ihrer Sprechweisen und Ausdrucksformen, die Vielfalt ihrer Codes und Topoi. Auch hier geht es um Entwicklungen der städtischen Raum- und Zeitwahrnehmung, um Umbrüche der Verkehrsformen in den Metropolen und um die Semiologie urbaner Kommunikation.
Doch im Unterschied zu den spezifisch sprach- und kommunikationswissenschaftlichen Aspekten des Themenheftes LiLi 148 widmen sich die Beiträge des vorliegenden Heftes konkreten medialen Möglichkeiten der künstlerischen Verarbeitung von Großstadterfahrung. LiLi 149 bietet insoweit eine Fortschreibung, aber auch eine Neuakzentuierung von Fragestellungen der Semiotik, der Kommunikation und des Designs, von Problemfeldern kreativer Peripherien und Migrantenkulturen, von Phänomenen der Diversität und Mehrsprachigkeit, der Mehrstimmigkeit von Codes, der Multimodalität von Mischformen und Normverschiebungen.
Es geht dabei um Neuentdeckungen, um Explorationen, um Forschungsreisen auf ungesichertem Gelände. Ihr gemeinsamer Ausgangspunkt lässt sich anhand konkreter Fragen bestimmen: Wie ist Großstadt heute noch künstlerisch wahrnehmbar – nur mehr in stark subjektivierenden, teils impressionistischen Prosaformen? Welche genrespezifischen, auch intermedialen Entwicklungen resultieren daraus? Welche Veränderungen unseres Wahrnehmungsvermögens verbinden sich gegenwärtig mit dem Phänomen Stadt/Großstadt/Metropole/Megalopolis? Welche kulturgeographischen (Neu-) Orientierungen ergeben sich hieraus? Welche medialen Phänomene erschließen die neuen Technologien unter dem Aspekt der Großstadt?
Thematisch einschlägig sind deshalb in LiLi 149 Überlegungen zur Vielstimmigkeit von künstlerischen Großstadtwahrnehmungen, zu Stadt-Filmen, zum Großstadt-Krimi und zum Berlin-Roman.
Den Auftakt des Bandes bildet eine topologische Studie zum Verhältnis von Zentrum und Peripherie (Thomas Wegmann). Der Bogen der Beiträge spannt sich vom Feuilleton der zwanziger Jahre (Susanne Scharnowski) und einem der Klassiker deutschsprachiger Großstadtliteratur, Döblins Berlin Alexanderplatz (Toni Bernhart) über den Film noir (Laura Frahm) und die künstlerischen Arbeiten Jean-Michel Basquiats im New York der achtziger Jahre (Susanne Stemmler) bis zu den Berlin-Texten der Migrationsliteratur (Almut Hille) und dem Phänomen Großstadt in Kriminalromanen der Postmoderne (Christoph Jürgensen). Den Abschluss des Bandes bildet eine Untersuchung zum Großstadttypus des ‚Entdeckungsreisenden’ (Rolf Lindner).
Es handelt sich, zu einem guten Teil, um die Eröffnung neuen Terrains. Die Themenhefte LiLi 148 und 149 haben das Ziel, inter- und transdisziplinäre Arbeiten ebenso wie interkulturelle und kulturvergleichende Ansätze zum Thema Großstadt anzuregen und zu fördern.
Thomas WegmannEnd of the City? Topology and aesthetics of urban centres and outskirts
The article deals with the construction of and the difference between centre and inner city on the one hand and residential neighbourhoods outside of the city centre, i.e. suburbs and outskirts, on the other hand. After a general introduction it will give a brief summary of the history of (mostly) European suburbs and their growth during the period of industrialisation. ‘Suburb’ in this traditional sense was often correlated with the outlying areas of cities where the poorest people like labourers, unemployed and immigrants had to live. The historical discussion will be followed by an analysis of the difference between urban centres and outskirts focusing on contemporary literature and (popular) culture. Above all, the argumentation will be concerned with three questions and their representation in different kinds of arts and knowledge systems: Does a correspondence between geographical and figurative margins exist? Or is there a decline of the difference between urban centres and outskirts due to modern transport and media communication and a simultaneous rise of a topological, somehow urban nowhere? Is the variety and ambiguity of suburbanization today more striking and significant than the variety of the global and gentrified inner cities?
Susanne Scharnowski„A jumble of the precious and the nasty“: Modernity and the representation of Berlin in the Feuilleton (short journalistic prose)
The article begins by examining the genre of the Feuilleton, that is: short journalistic prose focusing on the city, as a genre which has its origin in Heine’s “Letters from Berlin”, published in 1822, and that owes a lot to the genre of the letter. It argues that most of the stylistic, functional and structural characteristics that are regarded as typical of the Feuilleton can be traced back to the genre of the travelogue in the form of a series of letters which, towards the end of the 18th century, became the most popular form thereof. It is precisely these characteristics that render the Feuilleton the ideal medium in which to follow and comment on the process of urban modernisation. In its second part, the article focuses on ambivalence as one of the major features of the Feuilleton. Unlike political journalism, the Feuilleton leaves room – in fact, calls for – the subjectivity of the author to express itself much more diversely, to the point of outright contradiction.
Hearing the city. Aural perception in Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Döblin
Acoustics play an increasingly important role in current debates in the domain of the cultural studies. Up to now, it have been the sounds themselves that have attracted most attention rather than their aural perception. Taking Alfred Döblins Berlin Alexanderplatz (1929) as an example, this paper examines the explicit verbalisation of hearing that is captured in German by the verbs ‘hören’, ‘horchen’ and ‘lauschen’. A quantitative comparison of the novel with Theodor Fontane’s Effi Briest (1895) leads us to assume that the frequence of verbs in the semantic field of ‘hearing’ are subject not only to the author’s creative choice but also to universal linguistic rules. In Berlin Alexanderplatz the sounds the characters explicitly hear are created by human beings. Only rarely are sounds heard that do not originate from people. The city itself is, so to speak, unheard. Among the meanings ‘hearing’ generally can have, in Berlin Alexanderplatz those are most striking that Roman Jakobson described as phatic and conative functions of language. Aural perception and visual perception are linked to each other. However, they can also open up different areas of experience. Hearing unlocks an ‘inner’ world that in the course of the text corresponds with pain and death. This ‘inner’ world of hearing tends to be open only to Franz and Death. Seeing unlocks an ‘outer’ world that corresponds with action and, especially at the end of novel, with collectivisation and war.
Laura FrahmBeyond the Noir City: Ambivalences in Film Noir’s Spatial Construction
This paper addresses the question of spatial construction within the film noir cycle. It argues that in order to understand the complexity of noir spaces it is necessary to move beyond the noir city, that’s to say, to move beyond the limited set of certain city images through which film noir has commonly been studied. Instead, I will suggest that the noir city has to be conceived as a multi-faceted, heterogeneous spatial figure that is continuously defined and refined by the dynamics of the cycle’s development throughout the forties and fifties. In order to elaborate on this perspective, I will analyze three different modes of spatial construction: polar spaces, transitory spaces and net spaces, which at the same time refer to different city concepts that are overlapping and contradictory, revealing the multilayered character of noir spaces. Moreover, alongside the emergence of new spaces and new city concepts in film noir, we can observe an increasing tendency to evoke and to reflect certain visual topoi and symbols of the noir city within certain films, indicating that the noir city itself is subject to multiple modifications and reflections – not only in subsequent examples of the neo noir in the seventies and the eighties, as it has frequently been argued, but also and particularly within the cycle itself. Taken altogether, these observations allow us to redefine the notion of the noir city and at the same time to reconsider the relationship between noir spaces and the cinematic city.
City, music, text: Jean-Michel Basquiat’s New York City in the 80ies
Manhattan in the early-80ies is the breeding ground for the paintings of Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988). As a painter, graffiti artist, musician and poet, Basquiat is part of this explosive art and music scene. The artist himself was involved in hip-hop performances and he also portrayed many famous Jazz musicians. Rhythm and improvisation are essential for his mode of perceiving and representing the city. Basquiat’s visual representations absorb the city’s vibrant soundscapes as a new and innovative form of artistic language. An important aspect of his paintings is the artist’s background as a graffiti writer. Basquiat often makes use of words or letters that refer to the urban surrounding and to his own Afro-Caribbean heritage. This contribution asks in how far the urban landscape of New York is essential for Basquiat’s work and what aspects of urban life are represented. There are four aspects being discussed: First, the iconotextual aspects of his painting will be a point of interest. Then, Basquiat’s art is being discussed within the broader frame of hip-hop culture and of the New York City’s ethnically diverse popular culture. Finally, I want to ask if the specific ‘urban intermediality’ that results from Basquiat’s ‘readings’ of and ‘listenings’ to the City may be called an ‘aesthetics of heightened awareness’.
Subway, moon and stars. Berlin from below and above in contemporary texts of ‘migration literature’
In the novels Der Himmel unter Berlin by Jaroslav Rudiš, Seltsame Sterne starren zur Erde. Wedding – Pankow 1976/77 by Emine Sevgi Özdamar, Der Mond isst die Sterne auf by Dilek Zaptcioglu and Selam Berlin by Yadé Kara the authors develop poetics of the city from below and above. The figures search for the city’s history and identities below and above the surface. To them they can be found only there since the surface of the city itself is changing very rapidly.
Jaroslav Rudiš, often labeled a pop-author, wrote his novel Der Himmel unter Berlin based on e-mails which he sent to his friends in Prague while staying in Berlin. Temporary migrations and temporary residencies become characteristics of a globalise life. What is ‘migration literature’ today due to this development? According to the author of the article the term ‘migration literature’ is not applicable – the novel by Jaroslav Rudiš as well as the novels by Emine Sevgi Özdamar, Dilek Zaptcioglu und Yadé Kara shall be read as Berlin literature.
No order, anywhere. About ‚metropolis’ in postmodern detective-novels
The article deals with the question, which function the ‚metropolis’ fulfils in postmodern anti-detective-novels. It is shown at Paul Austers City of Glass (1985), Jan Kjarstads Rand (1990) and Georg Kleins Barbar Rosa (2001), that neither in Auster’s New York nor in Kjarstad’s Oslo or in Klein’s Berlin an order is established as it is typical for the ‚classic’ detective-novel. Instead of that, the ‚metropolis’ is used to give a paradigmatic description of the postmodern understanding in the ambivalence of the signs and the interdigitation of ‚reality’ and ‚fiction’.
Social Explorers. Voyages of discovery in the depths of the Big City
In the 1860’s, at the same time as British explorers were trying to discover the sources of the Nile, social explorers were finding their own Africa in the East End of London. In the accounts of travel, geographical distance is replaced by topographical depth, so that the explorer’s path always leads into the “depths”, into the human “abyss”. In order to carry out this operation, the explorer adopts masquerade (cross-class dressing) as a research technique, through which he has the existential experience of communitas with the Other.
Interdisciplinary border crossings: The correspondence of Käte Hamburger. With a previously unpublished letter by Roman Ingarden
This article deals with the unpublished correspondence of the literary specialist Käte Hamburger (1896-1992), which is housed in the literary archive in Marbach, Germany.
The correspondence of Hamburger, who is best known for her theoretical work The Logic of Literature, depicts the scholarly context as well as the personalities and public figures with whom she interchanged. The letters demonstrate that Käte Hamburger was widely admitted and acknowledged internationally, but at the same time reveal the problems she had to face as a scholar, female and Jewish, in the first half of the twentieth century. It was not until the end of the 1950s that her work, The Logic of Literature, was belatedly accepted as her postdoctoral thesis required for qualification as a university lecturer, after which she received a professorship at the University of Stuttgart. One example of the wide reception of her work is a previously unpublished letter by the well-known Polish philosopher Roman Ingarden, in which he discusses Hamburger’s criteria to distinguish between the fictional and the factual found in the The logic of literature.
Looking at the topics that Hamburger discusses in her letters, one observation is striking: her approach to literature is almost always interdisciplinary. In her readings she strives to expose the ethical and humanistic potential of literature, seen mainly in her correspondence regarding the question of faith with the theologian Martin Doerne (1900-1970). With him she discusses theological questions in the works of Dostojewski and Tolstoi as well as in the writings of Rainer Maria Rilke. Religious topics are of importance also for her scientific work. The correspondence thus not only documents the wide, international reception of the work of Käte Hamburger but sheds new light on it.
Melissa De Bruyker
Let discourses on illness do the talking. The rhetoric of the narrated world in Annette Kolb’s novel Das Exemplar
I discuss how the rhetoric of illness functions in Annette Kolb´s novel Das Exemplar. Even though the illness of the protagonist’s friend makes the linguistic expression of pain and fear difficult the novel develops alternative modes of expression. First of all, it evokes nationalist and psychoanalyst discourses trying to pin down another person’s behaviour and thinking but neglecting the human. Because these discourses are incapable of rendering the Other a crisis situation with socio-political implications can be detected. Secondly, self-reflexive strategies such as silence, expressions with double meanings (discourse level) as well as doubly motivated images and silent characters (level of imaginary reality) circumvent discourse and add to our knowledge of the imaginary story world. Closely connected to the questionability of identification is the role of the body. The body remains mysteriously hidden behind the novel’s many personifications and comparisons. This effect is intensified by the illness of malaria that abruptly changes the patient’s body. Still, the feelings and hope shared by the two protagonists turn out to be as open to interpretation as silence, as flexible as enduring love and as vulnerable to new circumstances as to malaria. These parallels uncover the text’s rhetorical structure.