NCCR Mediality
UZH




Die Nationalen Forschungsschwerpunkte (NFS) sind ein Förderungsmittel des Schweizerischen Nationalfonds.
Y. Implosion
Y.8. Mediality as borderline experience

This project analyzes the paradigm of mysticism that has been received by the literary avant-garde of the early twentieth century, with regard to its mediological and poetological relevance. The use of premodern medial techniques of mysticism turns out to be a central problem of a media-sensible literature, which samples and reflects the utopias and paradoxes of an experiment in medial self-transgression in the direction of an ineffable dimension. At the same time, the paradigm of mysticism shows the reverse of that experiment: the reflection of mediality as a border experience, which shapes the literary means of the avant-garde and in which the tensions and antagonisms of the medium are carried out in complex, highly artificial adjustments. So the textual modes of avant-garde mysticism can be considered as the realization of a semiotically reflected and reinterpreted unio mystica, as an extrapolation of a symbolic border experience in the medium of poetic language. The work program contains three subgoals: first, the most important moments of mystical experience in their specific modern version and their literary realization will be identified. Second, on the basis of this examination, a poetological description of the textual methods in the light of modern mysticism shall be given. On the one hand, there are formal features of neo-mystical speech (such as a specific metaphoricism, neologisms, oxymora, materiality and logics of negation), on the other hand, there is a genuine literary actualization of mystical motives and structural moments of mystical experience (non-pictorial sight, amalgamation, ecstasy etc.). Third, the mediological analysis will be developed by showing how the specified phenomena of symbolic adaptation of the mystic discourse and its literary embodiment generate a new awareness and understanding of medial and intermedial processes and constellations.