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Eisenstein in New Cultural and Critical Contexts
This book of essays is quite unique in that it intervenes in a still contested area within many universities, that of the relevance of film to literature, critical theory, politics, sociology and anthropology. The essays were commissioned by Jean Antoine-Dunne whose research has explored the impact of Eisenstein’s aesthetics on different areas of modernist literature and drama. The essays in this collection use Eisenstein as a point of departure into divergent fields of analysis and are concerned with the principle of montage as a transforming idea. They gather within the pages of one work contributions from Geoffrey Nowell-Smith, Richard Taylor, Paul Willemen and emerging scholars entering and altering the field of interdisciplinary scholarship, film and literature. These hitherto unpublished essays not only extend and elaborate on previous treatments of Eisenstein and montage in areas such as semiotics, film theory, and feminist film practice, but also introduce his work to areas which have not yet been considered in relation to Eisenstein and montage, such as Beckett scholarship, Caribbean aesthetics, Third Cinema, and debates around digital imagery. No other collection of essays has explored the idea of montage as a structuring cultural and critical principle and the elasticity of Eisenstein's legacy in quite this way.
In opposition to an essentialist conceptualization, the social construct of the human body in literature can be analyzed and described by means of effective methodologies that are based on Discourse Theory, Theory of Cultural Transmission and Ecology, System Theory, and Media Theory. In this perspective, the body is perceived as a complex arrangement of substantiation, substitution, and omission depending on demands, expectations, and prohibitions of the dominant discourse network. The term Body-Dialectics stands for the attempt to decipher – and for a moment freeze – the web of such discursive arrangements that constitute the fictitious notion of the body in the framework of a specific historic environment, here in the Age of Goethe.
Author: Siglind Bruhn
In 1923, the twenty-seven-year-old Paul Hindemith published a composition for voice and piano, entitled Das Marienleben, based on Rainer Maria Rilke's poetic cycle of 1912. Twenty-five years later, the composer presented a thoroughly revised, partially rewritten version. The outcome of this revision has been highly controversial. Ever since its first publication, musicologists have argued for or against the value of such a decisive rewriting. They do so both by comparing the two compositions on purely musical grounds, and by attempting to assess whether the more strictly organized tonal layout and dynamic structuring of Marienleben II is more or less appropriate for the topic of a poetic cycle on the Life of Mary.
This study is the first to analyze the messages conveyed in the two versions with an emphasis on their implicit aesthetic, philosophical, and spiritual significance. Acknowledging the compositions as examples of musical ekphrasis (“a representation in one artistic medium of a message originally composed in another medium”), the author argues in exhaustive detail that the young Hindemith of 1922-23 and the mature composer of 1941-48 can be seen as setting two somewhat different poetic cycles.
This volume is of interest for musicologists and music lovers, scholars of German literature and lovers of Rilke’s poetry, as well as for readers interested in the interartistic relationships of music and literature.