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In: Word and Music Studies
In: The Metareferential Turn in Contemporary Arts and Media
In: The Metareferential Turn in Contemporary Arts and Media
In: The Metareferential Turn in Contemporary Arts and Media
In: The Metareferential Turn in Contemporary Arts and Media
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Abstract

This essay is a contribution to a new (or renewed) focus of interest observable in various disciplines, including – over the last few years – classical philology: an interest in the historical dimension of an important reception effect which representations in literature and many other media can elicit, namely ‘aesthetic illusion’ (frequently also termed differently, e.g., ‘immersion’). Aesthetic illusion is particularly difficult to ascertain for remote periods and cultures, for which empirical methods are inapplicable and where reception testimonies are scarce. However, there is indirect evidence in aesthetic theory, in rhetoric, and above all in certain artefacts and literary texts. After a clarification of the concept and term ‘aesthetic illusion’ and of the cultural-historical preconditions for its emergence, this essay discusses some evidence for the existence of aesthetic illusion in ancient ‘theory’ and literary practice (in Homer, Sophocles, and Heliodorus), including instances of a playful use of this phenomenon (in Pseudo-Homer and Aristophanes). All of this indicates that aesthetic illusion is not a recent phenomenon of the past few centuries but can be traced back to ancient cultures.

In: Taking Stock – Twenty-Five Years of Comparative Literary Research
In: Logiken strukturbildender Prozesse: Automatismen
Author:
One possible description of the contemporary medial landscape in Western culture is that it has gone ‘meta’ to an unprecedented extent, so that a remarkable ‘meta-culture’ has emerged. Indeed, ‘metareference’, i.e. self-reflexive comments on, or references to, various kinds of media-related aspects of a given medial artefact or performance, specific media and arts or the media in general is omnipresent and can, nowadays, be encountered in ‘high’ art and literature as frequently as in their popular counterparts, in the traditional media as well as in new media. From the Simpsons, pop music, children’s literature, computer games and pornography to the contemporary visual arts, feature film, postmodern fiction, drama and even architecture – everywhere one can find metareferential explorations, comments on or criticism of representation, medial conventions or modes of production and reception, and related issues. Within individual media and genres, notably in research on postmodernist metafiction, this outspoken tendency towards ‘metaization’ is known well enough, and various reasons have been given for it. Yet never has there been an attempt to account for what one may aptly term the current ‘metareferential turn’ on a larger, transmedial scale. This is what The Metareferential Turn in Contemporary Arts and Media: Forms, Functions, Attempts at Explanation undertakes to do as a sequel to its predecessor, the volume Metareference across Media (vol. 4 in the series ‘Studies in Intermediality’), which was dedicated to theoretical issues and transhistorical case studies. Coming from diverse disciplinary and methodological backgrounds, the contributors to the present volume propose explanations of impressive subtlety, breadth and depth for the current situation in addition to exploring individual forms and functions of metareference which may be linked with particular explanations. As expected, there is no monocausal reason to be found for the situation under scrutiny, yet the proposals made have in their compination a remarkable explanatory power which contributes to a better understanding of an important facet of current media production and reception. The essays assembled in the volume, which also contains an introduction with a detailed survey over the possibilities of accounting for the metareferential turn, will be relevant to students and scholars from a wide variety of fields: cultural history at large, intermediality and media studies as well as, more particularly, literary studies, music, film and art history.
Author:

Abstract

This essay is a contribution to a new (or renewed) focus of interest observable in various disciplines, including – over the last few years – classical philology: an interest in the historical dimension of an important reception effect which representations in literature and many other media can elicit, namely ‘aesthetic illusion’ (frequently also termed differently, e.g., ‘immersion’). Aesthetic illusion is particularly difficult to ascertain for remote periods and cultures, for which empirical methods are inapplicable and where reception testimonies are scarce. However, there is indirect evidence in aesthetic theory, in rhetoric, and above all in certain artefacts and literary texts. After a clarification of the concept and term ‘aesthetic illusion’ and of the cultural-historical preconditions for its emergence, this essay discusses some evidence for the existence of aesthetic illusion in ancient ‘theory’ and literary practice (in Homer, Sophocles, and Heliodorus), including instances of a playful use of this phenomenon (in Pseudo-Homer and Aristophanes). All of this indicates that aesthetic illusion is not a recent phenomenon of the past few centuries but can be traced back to ancient cultures.

In: Taking Stock – Twenty-Five Years of Comparative Literary Research
In: Immersion and Distance