Herausgegeben von Konstanze Fliedl, Bernhard Oberreither und Katharina Serles. Berlin: Erich Schmidt, 2013. 327 Seiten + 30 s/w Abbildungen. €49,80.
Gemälderedereien is the second volume to appear as a result of two research projects supported by the Österreichischen Wissenschaftsfonds: Kunst im Text (2005–2009) at the University of Salzburg and Das Bildzitat – Intermedialität und Tradition (2009– 2014) at the University of Vienna. It serves as a companion to the first publication, the two-volume Handbuch der Kunstzitate. Malerei, Skulptur, Fotografie in der deutschsprachigen Literatur der Moderne (2011), co-edited by Marina Rauchenbacher, Joanna Wolf, and Konstanze Fliedl [ed. note: see review in Monatshefte 105.1, Spring 2013, 131–133], and the invaluable Datenbank literarischer Bildzitate (http://www.univie.ac.at/bildzitat) that went online in fall 2014. The database, which catalogues references to artworks found in modern German literature (130 references to works by 60 artists found in nearly 1,000 texts), connects images and texts in a systematic way that allows for exploration of these complex relationships and inspiration for further research.
The majority of the studies in Gemälderedereien were originally presented at an eponymous conference held at the University of Vienna in May of 2011. Comprised of close readings and theoretical approaches directed at visual art in the form of paintings, photographs, gardens, and even tattoos, this appealing volume was co-edited by Fliedl and her collaborators from the abovementioned research projects, Bernhard Oberreither and Katharina Serles. Beginning with a prologue under the heading “Gedichtetes Sehen,” Ferdinand Schmatz, whose 2007 novel Durchleuchtung inspired the collection’s title, first prompts the reader to consider the relationship between an image and the myriad ways it can manifest in a text (representation and perception through syntax, semantics, sound), then provides insight through his own engagement with the work of Adalbert Stifter entitled “Maler als Stifter.” Schmatz here counters earlier conceptualizations of the creation of text from image as a binary relationship or semiotic transposition by establishing the variation and dynamism present in the “Hin und Her zwischen Wahrnehmung, Empfindung, Bild und Wort” (16). [End Page 120]
“Texte und ihre Bilder” is a section focused on literature constructed around real or imagined artworks, beginning with Gerhard Neumann’s investigation of Tieck’s Die Gemälde as a model of Romanticism’s cultivated aesthetic discourse in which art is the lens through which nature and the world are viewed. Marianne Schuller’s piece on Der Findling shows Kleist working against this conventional understanding to open reflexivity and interpretation between image and text instead. With archival research on their travels and correspondence, Peter Sprengel traces the fantastical artistic influences and inspirations shared between Paul Heyse and Böcklin, and Heyse and Genelli, documented with 14 previously unpublished letters (7 from Genelli to Heyse and 7 from Böcklin to Heyse) that are included in the article’s appendix.
In his piece entitled “Ein Möbiusband von Wort und Bild: Peter Handkes Cézanne-Lektüren als Lebensform,” Ralph Köhnen addresses the active role of the viewer/reader in the interpretation or creation of image and text in modern and postmodern work. As Köhnen states, the ways images speak and words are envisioned become more subjective as the sources become more abstract. In citing the works of Handke and Cézanne, in which the spaces between words and brushstrokes play as great a role as what does appear, Köhnen emphasizes the all-encompassing aesthetic experience of encountering such works, described by Handke not as “ ‘Ich finde ein Bild’, sondern: ‘Ich erlebe ein Bild’, und finde mich darin” (103).
The last three articles in this section further investigate the subjective space between image and text with an eye to truth, authenticity, and connection. Ralph Simon questions the outcome of a ‘false’ ekphrastic representation; what kind of literary image results from the deviation from or falsification of an extant artwork? Bernhard Oberreither begins with Benjamin and Barthes to discuss the “trace” in photography and what transpires with regard to reality and narration in Wilhelm Genazino’s Auf der Kippe. Questions of truth and authenticity persist in Marina Rauchenbacher...