Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Scenes of Writing, Scenes of Looking: Don DeLillo, Claus Beck-Nielsen, and the Politics of the Novel
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Language, Literature and Intercultural Studies.
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Skriftens scen, blickens scen : Don DeLillo, Claus Beck-Nielsen, och romanens politik (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

Cries of the death of the novel and even of literature in general have become cultural commonplaces. In an age seemingly dominated by digital spectacle, many seem to think that traditional print literature has become an almost obsolete cultural practice, bereft of any critical social and political relevance. Combining theories and concepts from such diverse fields as Comparative Literature, Intermedial Studies and Visual Culture Studies, Morten Feldtfos Thomsen argues for the continued cultural relevance of the print novel not only as a form of aesthetic expression and experience, but also as a form of political intervention. Through readings of novels by American author Don DeLillo, and Danish writer and avant-garde artist Claus Beck-Nielsen, he argues that the print novel can engage in a critical and potentially subversive redistribution of what can be seen, said and generally perceived in contemporary society. Following French philosopher Jacques Rancière’s writings on perception as the ground of both aesthetics and politics, as well as W.J.T. Mitchell’s theories on multimodality and mixed media, Scenes of Writing, Scenes of Looking investigates the formal and thematic manifestation in DeLillo’s and Beck-Nielsen’s novels of an imagetext discourse, i.e. an intermingling of images and words, looking and writing. Such strategies insistently interrogate the relationship of mediation and perception to one another as well as the ideological underpinnings thereof. In doing so, the novels participate in the construction and possible disruption of the perceptual field of experience that underpins social order and political engagement. More than merely a self-absorbed play with media and modalities, DeLillo’s and Beck-Nielsen’s insistent mixing of words and images, the verbal and the visual, constitutes a deeply political interrogation of the conditions of possibility that govern our perceptions of the world and our mode of participation and interaction with it.  

Abstract [en]

Cries of the death of the novel and even of literature in general have become cultural commonplaces. In an age seemingly dominated by digital spectacle, many seem to think that traditional print literature has become an almost obsolete cultural practice, bereft of any social and political relevance. In Scenes of Writing, Scenes of Looking, however, Morten Feldtfos Thomsen argues for the continued relevance of the print novel not only as a form of aesthetic expression and experience, but also as a form of political intervention. Through readings of novels by American author Don DeLillo, and Danish writer and avant-garde artist Claus Beck-Nielsen, he argues that the print novel can engage in a critical and potentially subversive redistribution of what can be seen, said and generally perceived in contemporary society. Central in this respect is the formal and thematic manifestation in their novels of an imagetext discourse, i.e. an intermingling of words and images, writing and looking, through which they interrogate and negotiate the relation of mediation, technology and perception to one another. In doing so, the novels participate actively in the construction and disruption of the perceptual field of experience that underpins social order and political engagement.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2016. , 345 p.
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2016:32
Keyword [en]
DeLillo, Beck-Nielsen, literature, aesthetics, politics, technology, imagetext, W.J.T. Mitchell, print novel, visual culture, media, intermediality, Rancière, multimodality, materiality, image, vision
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
Comparative Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-42070ISBN: 978-91-7063-713-1OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-42070DiVA: diva2:929968
Public defence
2016-09-01, 12A138, Universitetsgatan 2, Karlstad, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-08-16 Created: 2016-05-20 Last updated: 2016-08-19Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

The full text will be freely available from 2018-09-01 09:00
Available from 2018-09-01 09:00

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Thomsen, Morten Feldtfos
By organisation
Department of Language, Literature and Intercultural Studies
General Literature Studies

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

Total: 128 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link