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Grewe, Cordula. "The Arabesque from Kant to Comics." New Literary History 49. (2018): 617–60. 
Added by: joachim (8/31/21, 2:50 PM)   Last edited by: joachim (9/1/21, 10:39 AM)
Resource type: Journal Article
Language: en: English
Peer reviewed
DOI: 10.1353/nlh.2018.0038
BibTeX citation key: Grewe2018
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Categories: General
Keywords: Busch. Wilhelm, Early forms of comics, Germany, Intermediality, Intertextuality, Irony, Literature, Metaisierung
Creators: Grewe
Collection: New Literary History
Views: 24/641
From the sinuous curves of the Rococo to Raphael’s grotteschi and its ancient predecessors, the roots of the modern arabesque are manifold. Yet the arabesque has a surprising root in the avant-garde writing and metaphysics of the German Romantics. Looking to the arts for inspiration, these philosophers and writers turned to the arabesque to quench their thirst for a synthesis of man and nature, of finite and cosmic spirit. In the arabesque, they found an idiom that is endlessly inventive, constantly creates new forms, and never takes on definitive embodiment. However, when visual artists sallied forth to reconquer this ornamental domain, they found traditional genres such as painting and fresco ill-equipped to realize the arabesque in its new theoretical complexity. Consequently, not high art, but the pages of books became the locus of the most inventive visual applications of the Romantic arabesque. Ultimately, this essay suggests, only the comic strip could produce a visual arabesque equal to the pervasive irony, subversive power, and self-reflexive discursivity of its literary sibling.
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