The metamorfoses van Laocoön. Woord & beeld interactie in De Schone Zakdoek (1941-43) en Barbarber (1958-71)
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The general aim of this thesis is an attempt to insert art historical insights into the study of literary works. Considerable attention is paid to the materiality of texts and their presentation. The Dutch literary magazines Barbarber [1958-1971] and its forerunner De Schone Zakdoek [1941-43] serve as case studies since the authors of these magazine inscribed their work consequently into a visual art tradition. First by referring to artists/artworks from the field of the plastic arts and secondly by showing a recurrent interest in visual representation or visual perception. With reference to the first point it can be argued that the magazines should be perceived of as artist’s book or conceptual artwork, rather than literature. As such this Dutch phenomenon can be placed within an international tradition of fusing the arts (starting with Wagner’s Gesamtkunstwerk, through Baudelaire’s wish for synesthesia, reaching its radical peak with the avant-garde’s ‘confusion of the arts’.) In relation to the second point the texts give free reign to investigations into the differences & parallels between visual and verbal representation. It is precisely this second, more general focus that brings along certain methodological problems and central issues raised within the field of Word & Image Studies. On what basis can word and image be compared? How can they be compared in a way that offers new insights? How can insights from the field of Visual Studies add or proof relevant to the research done within Literary Studies? Thus this thesis has a twofold focus. On the one hand it is an exploration of two modes of representation by taking a historical artwork as a starting point. On the other hand it wishes to offer a contribution to the debate on the form and function of literary studies in an age of medialisation.