The (Literary) Special Effect: (Inter)Mediality in the Contemporary US-American Novel and the Digital Age
von Bogna Kazur
Datum der mündl. Prüfung:2019-03-04
Betreuer:Prof. Dr. Babette B. Tischleder
Gutachter:Prof. Dr. Brigitte Glaser
Gutachter:Prof. Dr. Andrew S. Gross
EnglischIn order to identify new forms and practices of novel-based intermediality, the study proceeds from a necessarily broad understanding of film culture in the digital age. One essential point is that film arrives at a new form of abstraction and loses its already fragile physical reality in the course of digitization. At the same time its complex invisible code complicates the distinction between fictional live-action footage and special effects, thus relativizing the latter and introducing a so-called "elastic reality". Still, the concept of digital film definitely exceeds a mere, digitally recorded or digitally adapted motion picture. It is a highly dynamic process that equally manifests itself in transmedia storytelling and fan practices and the permeating logic of self-reflexivity on both the level of content and interface. Another characteristic of digital film culture is certainly the paradox of digital perfection producing a resurgence of humanism and "mistakism" in terms of grainy, fragmented, hand-held camera aesthetics, for instance. The three contemporary US novels in question, namely Marisha Pessl's Night Film (2013), Mark Z. Danieleweski's House of Leaves (2000) and Siri Hustvedt's The Sorrows of an American (2008) are informed by these ambiguous dynamics of the digital media culture that can be referred to as post-photographic and/or post-cinematic. The present study examines how the digital revolution affects literature-based intermedial references to (audio-)visual media. The leading question is, on the one hand, how literature contributes to a better understanding of the contacted media, that is film and photography, and their current embedment in a post-cinematic media landscape. On the other hand, my research interest pertains to the contacting medium, the print novel, and the way it renegotiates its own media-specific potential in response to the media culture in question.
Keywords: digital; intermediality; materiality; contemporary literature; post-cinema; post-photography; Mark Z. Danielewski; Siri Hustvedt; Marisha Pessl; cinema; digitization; House of Leaves; experimental literature