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This study, the first of its kind in English, sets out to analyse literature as a form of social communication by considering developments in literary theory and practice in the German Democratic Republic in the Honecker era. Attention focuses on the changes in the discourses of literary theory and literary practice in a semi-public sphere controlled by an increasingly ossified political discourse. Key developments in the 1970s, hailed by GDR theorists as the point of departure for a new kind of literary communication in society, are carefully examined. The study then contrasts these idealised views of literature as social communication with practice and theory in the late 1970s and 1980s. In clear trends in practice (and, to a lesser extent, in theory) communication was perceived as being increasingly problematic and conflictual. The development from this sense of destabilisation to the rupturing in communication between literature and society, between literature and political authority and in literature itself became more salient in the 1980s as its forms and themes radically challenged the mounting stagnation of the discourse of political power. These conflicts are illustrated and discussed with the aid of detailed analyses of key literary texts and previously unpublished interviews with leading theorists.
Volume Editors: Colin Barr Grant and Donal McLaughlin
This uniquely interdisciplinary collection of essays derives in part from a two-day international conference held at Heriot-Watt University in November 1999 and conceived as a critical forum for the discussion of the concept of interaction. The collection satisfies a continuing need for interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary research in the humanities and stems from an awareness of the growing currency of interactionist theories in several fields and the need to make a critical contribution to such theories and related concepts such as intersubjectivity and dialogism. Rather than advancing an apologetic view of interaction as something given, the contributors carefully consider and challenge commonly held epistemological and theoretical assumptions relating to the interaction concept. Interaction, if it is to be a meaningful concept, must be seen in terms of its modes (e.g. linguistic, media-based), units (language, logic, communication), objectives (understanding, consensus, stability) and fields of operation (face-to-face interaction, translation, social codification). This collection is intended to offer a provisional response to the question posed by one of its contributors, ‘What does it mean today that communication as the mechanism of social co-ordination has itself become complex?’. It means that erstwhile certainties of meaning transmission, stability, duality or dichotomy, identity and difference can be challenged and theoretically modelled in new contexts. Interdisciplinarity is one means by which to illuminate this complexity from several sides in the pursuit of theoretical blind spots in the field of critical communication studies. The book will be of particular interest to researchers and students in communication theory, linguistics, translation studies, logic, social psychology, discourse studies, European Studies, philosophy and semiotics.
In: Language – Meaning – Social Construction
In: Language – Meaning – Social Construction