By Werner Wolf, Walter Bernhart
Unlike narrative, description is a far much less researched phenomenon, and the place it up to now has chanced on realization in any respect, students have commonly mentioned it with fiction in brain. The all yet specific focus on literature has hitherto obscured the truth that description transcends literature and certainly the verbal media commonly and isn't just a transgeneric but in addition a transmedial phenomenon that may be present in many different media and humanities. This ebook is a pioneering interdisciplinary research of description because it for the 1st time undertakes to shut this learn lacuna by way of highlighting description and its relevance almost about a large spectrum of arts and media. the amount opens with a close introductory essay, which goals at clarifying the descriptive as a simple semiotic type of organizing indicators from a theoretical point of view but additionally presents a primary assessment of the makes use of of description in addition to its problematics in fiction, portray and instrumental tune. normally a part of the publication, 9 contributions through students from quite a few disciplines discover description in person media and diversified cultural epochs. the 1st component of the publication is devoted to literature and comparable (partly) verbal media and features a typological and ancient survey of description in fiction in addition to discussions of its prevalence in poetry, nature writing, radioliterature and picture. the second one half bargains with the (purely) visible media and levels from a presentation of the descriptive strategies utilized in Dürer's image reproductions to basic reflections on 'the descriptive' within the visible arts in addition to in images. a 3rd part on description in track presents a standpoint on another medium. the quantity, that's the second within the sequence 'Studies in Intermediality', is of relevance to scholars and students from quite a few fields: intermedial experiences, literary and picture experiences, historical past of artwork, and musicology.
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Additional resources for Description; in Literature and Other Media (Studies in Intermediality)
Also Alpers 1983: xxi, who uses the conventional impression “that painting by its very nature is descriptive” as the starting point of her interesting historical discus- 40 Werner Wolf frame ‘description’ is applicable here, sounds banal and should therefore rather be reformulated: are there pictures at all that are not descriptive? Even if at first sight the answer seems to be, ‘of course there aren’t any’, on second thoughts, this reformulated question must get a more nuanced response. For, besides the fact that there are paintings that appear to be narrative rather than descriptive53, there are in fact nondescriptive paintings, notably of an abstract nature as epitomized by some works of Wassily Kandinsky or Piet Mondrian’s “Composition” (1930, see Illustration 2).
The relation between the two concepts is further complicated by the fact that sometimes description is a first step towards defining an object, such as a newly found plant, which then can be referred to by a simple, not necessarily descriptive sign. 34 Werner Wolf on ‘existential’ phenomena45: while the typical suggestion of narrative is that ‘something happened because of something else and led to a certain end’, the typical suggestion of description is simply that ‘something is there and like that’46.
Most important is a representational use of signs that highlights the physical ‘whatness’ of a concrete object through detailed attributions. A discernible emphasis on paradigmatically transmitted perceptual details (‘surface’ details) is a related marker of descriptiveness. If the description occurs in the larger context of a narrative, an additional stimulus is the feeling that the narrative progress is interrupted or temporarily suspended. 7. The concretization of descriptive objects in the recipient’s mind Stimuli given by a descriptive artefact or text are only part of what must be taken into account when the frame ‘description’ is activated in a recipient with reference to a concrete object.
Description; in Literature and Other Media (Studies in Intermediality) by Werner Wolf, Walter Bernhart