This essay explores the relation between text and image in Alexander Kluge's literary work. The publication of Chronik der Gefühle, which accounts for Kluge's entire literary production until 2000, allows a detailed study of his techniques of intermediality and how they developed. Kluge is increasingly concerned with techniques of mutual disruption between text and image—what he describes as “heterotopia” and “heterochronia.” His literary work of the 1990s, as is demonstrated in three close readings, uses images to challenge discursive and narrative constructions. By the same token, Kluge decontextualizes images and their rootedness in collective memories, facilitating the individual reader's reappropriation of both image and text. In providing these interpretations, the essay highlights the most important theoretical influences on Kluge's literary mnemoscapes and their textual and visual renditions. Kluge incorporates Walter Benjamin's idea of a dialectical image while moving beyond that paradigm in his concept and literary practice of a “third time” that is ultimately designed to enfranchise the reader.
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Bernhard Malkmus; Intermediality and the Topography of Memory in Alexander Kluge. New German Critique 1 August 2009; 36 (2 (107)): 231–252. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/0094033X-2009-007
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