Convention and innovation in literature by Theo D'haen, Rainer Grübel, Helmut Lethen

By Theo D'haen, Rainer Grübel, Helmut Lethen

This paintings is a serious assessment of the thoughts of conference and innovation as utilized within the examine of fixing literary values, hierarchies and canons. methods are analyzed: (1) the linking of conference and the subject's wisdom of conference, and (2) structures concept. The benefits of either techniques are mentioned and an try is made to mix them and to treat structures of literary conversation basically as structures of conventions. particular instances of adjusting conventions and innovation are illustrated with examples from the sphere of versification (Rimbaud), reception reviews (Puskin, Goethe, George Eliot), the dichotomy of forgetting/remembering (Nietzsche, Proust), avant-garde, the yankee dream, and renowned genres assimilated in Postmodernism

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Different solutions are certainly possible, and other models than the one I am going to submit may doubtless be equally, or more, effective, as long as they are capable of mirroring the basic situation of a developing network. The descriptive model will have to cover statements about the text-type as well as aphoristic texts themselves. For that purpose, however, the latter are going to be considered as "aphorisms" solely because they are pre­ sented as such by somebody. e. in the last resort to descriptions on the basis of essentialist concepts.

Just as in linguistics, which has to deal with dialec­ tical and social differences between language variants, the delimitation of the group using a particular code is a problem, even a rather grave prob- THE CONCEPT OF CONVENTION 11 lem, since one speaker will have many codes at his disposal and will activate only a small selection of them in particular contexts in accordance with pragmatic rules. For obvious reasons the problem of the delimitation of the group using one code and the problem of the characterization of the code cannot be solved at the same time but must be dealt with successively, perhaps in repeated succession.

1980. Grundriss der Empirischen Literaturwissenschaft, vol. 1, Der gesellschaftlichen Handlungsbereich Literatur. Braunschweig/Wiesbaden: Vieweg. ———. 1982. Foundations for the Empirical Study of Literature: The Components of a Basic Theory, trans. Robert de Beaugrande. Hamburg: Buske. ———. 1983. " Poetics 12: 19-34. , ed. 1960. Style in Language. T. Szegedy-Maszák, Mihály. 1983. " Yearbook of Comparative and General Literature 32: 39-49. J. Oversteegen All students of literature concerned with genre will have met the problem of a choice between systematic and historical description.

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