By Werner Wolf, Walter Bernhart
Unlike narrative, description is a miles much less researched phenomenon, and the place it up to now has came upon realization in any respect, students have customarily mentioned it with fiction in brain. The all yet unique focus on literature has hitherto obscured the truth that description transcends literature and certainly the verbal media generally and isn't just a transgeneric but additionally a transmedial phenomenon that may be present in many different media and humanities. This ebook is a pioneering interdisciplinary learn of description because it for the 1st time undertakes to shut this examine lacuna by way of highlighting description and its relevance almost about a large spectrum of arts and media. the amount opens with an in depth introductory essay, which goals at clarifying the descriptive as a easy semiotic kind of organizing indicators from a theoretical viewpoint but in addition presents a primary evaluate of the makes use of of description in addition to its problematics in fiction, portray and instrumental tune. often a part of the ebook, 9 contributions via students from a variety of disciplines discover description in person media and assorted cultural epochs. the 1st component of the e-book is devoted to literature and similar (partly) verbal media and encompasses a typological and old survey of description in fiction in addition to discussions of its prevalence in poetry, nature writing, radioliterature and movie. the second one half bargains with the (purely) visible media and levels from a presentation of the descriptive recommendations utilized in Dürer's picture reproductions to common reflections on 'the descriptive' within the visible arts in addition to in images. a 3rd part on description in tune offers a standpoint on one more medium. the amount, that is the second within the sequence 'Studies in Intermediality', is of relevance to scholars and students from a number of fields: intermedial experiences, literary and movie reports, heritage of paintings, and musicology.
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Additional info for Description; in Literature and Other Media (Studies in Intermediality)
The relative rarity of genuine narrativity and the extreme frequency of the descriptive in pictures reverses the problem of marking: it is not so much the frame ‘description’ that requires marking in pictures, as it seems to be the default option in this medium anyway (at least as long as it is used as a representational medium), but rather the exceptional frame narrative. In individual, so-called ‘monophase’ pictures, narrativity is frequently signalled by an intermedial reference to a verbal story, as is the case in Giotto’s representation of the Holy Family’s flight to Egypt, which illustrates a narrative episode of the Gospel according to St.
37 Among inexperienced or merely plot-centred readers (as I was when, as a boy, I devoured the novels of Karl May) this apparent redundancy – together with an unwelcome interruption of the action – often leads to skipping descriptions. 38 In his contribution to this volume, Ansgar Nünning differentiates between “bottom-up, data-driven description” and “top-down, frame-driven description” (99). Obviously, the former variant is the one in which details are more numerous, as the latter one can reduce the number of given details, because it relies more heavily on the recipient’s cultural competence to recognize the object referred to along with its typical qualities.
The destruction of a house by a bomb, which can in fact be described rather than narrated) – as long as no narrative connections are made and a mere (seeming) fact 32 This is, however, not to say that a probable and life-like perspective employed in description, e. g. when following the gaze of a ‘focalizer’ in fiction or film, could not also enhance descriptivity. 33 With reference to verbal texts it is therefore an oversimplification to claim, as does Mieke Bal in her otherwise highly differentiated theory of description, that “every description is a depiction in words of our vision of an object” (1981/1982: 134, my emphasis).