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By Werner Wolf, Walter Bernhart

Not like narrative, description is a far much less researched phenomenon, and the place it thus far has discovered consciousness in any respect, students have usually mentioned it with fiction in brain. The all yet specific focus on literature has hitherto obscured the truth that description transcends literature and certainly the verbal media often and isn't just a transgeneric but additionally a transmedial phenomenon that may be present in many different media and humanities. This e-book is a pioneering interdisciplinary research of description because it for the 1st time undertakes to shut this examine lacuna via highlighting description and its relevance almost about a large spectrum of arts and media. the quantity opens with an in depth introductory essay, which goals at clarifying the descriptive as a easy semiotic kind of organizing indicators from a theoretical standpoint but in addition offers a primary evaluate of the makes use of of description in addition to its problematics in fiction, portray and instrumental tune. on the whole a part of the ebook, 9 contributions via students from numerous disciplines discover description in person media and diverse cultural epochs. the 1st component of the booklet is devoted to literature and comparable (partly) verbal media and encompasses a typological and old survey of description in fiction in addition to discussions of its prevalence in poetry, nature writing, radioliterature and movie. the second one half offers with the (purely) visible media and levels from a presentation of the descriptive innovations utilized in Dürer's image reproductions to basic reflections on 'the descriptive' within the visible arts in addition to in images. a 3rd part on description in tune offers a point of view on another medium. the amount, that is the second within the sequence 'Studies in Intermediality', is of relevance to scholars and students from a variety of fields: intermedial experiences, literary and picture reports, historical past of artwork, and musicology

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Description in literature and other media

Unlike narrative, description is a miles much less researched phenomenon, and the place it to this point has discovered consciousness in any respect, students have mainly mentioned it with fiction in brain. The all yet specific focus on literature has hitherto obscured the truth that description transcends literature and certainly the verbal media typically and isn't just a transgeneric but in addition a transmedial phenomenon that may be present in many different media and humanities.

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4. What specific functions can be attributed to description within the medium under scrutiny? A fifth question could refer to the history of description in each medium. Yet, answering that would lead too far in the present context and would in some cases anticipate the contributions to this volume that are dedicated to individual media. Therefore, it must suffice here to generally emphasize the importance of the historical dimension in order to complete our enquiry into the descriptive; details will to some extent emerge from the other essays in this book, will be found in previous research, or must be relegated to further research.

For most of the examples given so far have pointed in one direction, namely that objects of description are mostly visual. Yet again, a modification must be made, for irrespective of medial restrictions there is no reason for excluding objects addressing other senses, as the last example (the description of pain) shows. It may only be the predominance of the visual, be it anthropological or cultural, that leads to privileging the visual even in media such as narrative fiction, which can extend to other sensory objects as well33.

A further major difference between narrativity and descriptivity emerges from this consideration: stories depend on the combination of certain constitutive content elements, and narrative is therefore a complex frame; there is no narrativity without at least one character, nor without events and at least an implied spatial and temporal setting. Description, on the contrary, is a less complex frame, as it can use each of these constitutive ‘building blocks’ of narratives individually: settings, the physiognomies of characters, and details of actions and happenings – all of these can in fact become objects of a description.

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