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NCCR Mediality

Die Nationalen Forschungsschwerpunkte (NFS) sind ein Förderungsmittel des Schweizerischen Nationalfonds.
Y. Implosion
Y.5. Poetic play and medial transgression in seventeenth-century poetry

A new literary system takes form and is institutionalised in the seventeenth century in Germany and a German poetic language evolves. This process engages hypertrophic imagery and heightened tonality in poetic language, reflecting on the boundaries of language and its imaginative possibilities. Syntagmatic structures of language logic are subverted by paradigmatic structures of imagery and sound patterns. The project proposes the thesis that the German language establishes itself as a poetic language precisely with this practice of playing with its mediality (acoustics, visuality) in the context of Regelpoetik and rhetorical tradition. Baroque poetry is experimental and takes pleasure in the medial qualities of language, its acoustic and visual perceptibility, and the effects of these. The use of poetic images involves the materialisation and embodying of language in sound, abstract visualization in signs and creative concretion in the imaginative.
Attention is drawn to the medial processes of poetic languages by the following structural phenomena: mirroring (acoustic and visual), inversion and implosion, transgression and inclusion. Oscillating between sound and echo, this language exceeds its logic of denotation with a potential for polyphonic meaning that disrupts or destroys any univocal understanding. The logic of the images gains momentum in the texts and creates conflicting levels of meaning, challenging the conditions of linguistic and figurative denotation and exceeding linguistic structure. The texts transgress and interweave discursive and epistemic levels, producing phenomena of illusion and disillusion, and they mislead habits of perception (analogous to the trompe-l’œil), making boundaries between reality and fiction uncertain.