The aim of this study is to analyse the intersection between images and words in the illustrated novel by Alfred Kubin, Die andere Seite (1909). Commonly regarded as one of the incunables of fantastic literature in German Modernism, Kubin’s novel thematises the visual media. In this regard, it is part of the long tradition of the Künstlerroman. At the same time, it is an example of an iconotext, in which different types of relationship between images and words are involved. On the one hand, in his novel Kubin covertly formulates the principles of his aesthetics, challenging the idea of art as a copy of reality. On the other hand, the novel radically revises the most traditional canons of literary writing, moving from the logical and causal modality of the rational logos, to the metaphorical-associative modality of the image. Starting from these premises, for this study I selected a corpus of three sketchbooks from the archive of the Oö. Landesmuseum in Linz, containing Kubin’s fragmentary notes of the novel’s text and the sketches for its illustrations. As a witness of the intermediate stages in the composition of the novel, the sketchbooks give a perspective on the creative process of the double talent. The analysis of these documents shows that Kubin wrote the text of the novel following a method, which is in part similar to the one generally used for his drawings. In both cases the artist tries to capture single motifs discontinuously selected from the archives of memory, literature, and art, in order to re-arrange them in a larger framework. The result is a series of verbal ‹images› arranged in a sort of montage, which are able to set in motion the novel’s fictional universe. The iconotextual form and the intermedial dynamics characterizing the novel since its very genesis, put Die andere Seite at the core of the turn-of-the-century discourse on such themes as modern ways of seeing, the meaning of abstraction, the autonomy of representation and the poietic activity of images as epistemological instruments.
|Titolo:||Die andere Seite. Intersezioni tra letteratura e visualità nel romanzo di Alfred Kubin.|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||07.13 Doctoral Thesis|