”Something to hold on to”: Intermediality and Cultural Memory in Literary Works 1978-2014
The presentation will introduce central issues and arguments in my book, Memory, Intermediality, and Literature. ”Something to hold on to” (Routledge, 2019). The book investigates how selected literary works make use of intermedial strategies to represent and perform cultural memory. Drawing on the theoretical perspectives of cultural memory studies, materialist literary analysis and intermediality studies, I analyze works by Alexander Kluge, W.G. Sebald, Jonathan Safran Foer, Anne Carson, Mette Hegnhøj, William Joyce, J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst. The works emerge out of different traditions and genres, ranging from neo-avant-garde montages through photo-novels and book objects to apps and transmedial children’s stories. While the existing research engage with them separately, in relation to different historical and cultural contexts, I propose an interdisciplinary and comparative approach, reading the works together, across genres, languages and decades. This approach makes it possible to argue that the works not only use intermedial strategies to represent memory and history (e.g. of World War II, 9/11 etc.), but also to remember literature, reflecting on the changing status and function of literature and of the printed book as a traditonal mediator of cultural memory. Thus, I demonstrate how the works may all be read as literary reactions to the modern media development, suggesting the ways in which literature and memory are affected by new media and technologies – photography and television as well as iPads and social media.
Sara Tanderup Linkis
Lund University, Centre for Languages and Literature (SOL)
Sara Tanderup Linkis holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from Aarhus University. She is currently employed as a postdoc at Lund University. Her research focuses on intermediality, transmediality, cultural memory and media oriented literary analysis, and she has published several articles in internationally acclaimed journals such as Narrative, Orbis Litterarum and Image & Narrative.