7/1030: What is Intermediality? Part III

This time, I conceptually have a definition, but I still can’t write the post I’d like to. That may come tomorrow.

Still, I’ve figured out the article and my position in intermedial studies. Dr. Rajewsky outlines three types of intermediality conceptions- for her, they are “the three fundamental distinctions underlying different conceptions of intermediality” (50). First, there is medial transposition- the process of changing from one medium to another, such as film adaptation. Then, there is media combination, in which the product consists of a combination of two or more media, such as an opera or illuminated manuscript. Finally, there is the intermedial reference, in which one medium is evoked by another. Inherent to all these dinstinctions, is that the product could not exist without some media interaction or understanding of more than one kind of media.

Obviously, for my PhD, I focus on intermedial references. However, I don’t think it’s much different than medial transposition, because, while I am studying something akin to ekphrasis (just of moving, rather than still, images), I am also looking at the reverse of film adaptation, in a way. The images on screen are transposed into literature. Perhaps I’m actually looking at transposition more than references.

I need to look at both more closely to make my choice, though Rajewsky also admits one can study intermediality and consider the phenomenon under both distinctions.

Still, where does this bring me? First of all, while I’ve been dancing around it, it should be clear what intermedialty is: interaction between media. In my case, this interaction takes place in one medium, but requires the recognition and meaning practices of more than one medium. Secondly, while knowledge about the other medium is necessary, it cannot actually appear in the product. It is only evoked or imitated (55). Thus, as Rajewsky claims, we are only dealing with illusions. Since literature is only an illusion itself, this should not be a problem… and it’s not if we consider theorists like Kristeva. But we do still need to understand this.

We also need to understand what it means that this extra layer of illusion is raised in contemporary literature, especially in migration literature… and that is precisely what I aim to explore.


Work Cited: Rajewsky, Irina O.. “Intermediality, Intertextuality, and Remediation: A Literary Perspective on Intermediality.” Intermédialités, no. 6, 2005 , pp. 43-64.

Disclaimer: this series is a collection of brainstorms and free-writes that are a part of my planning for actual text in my dissertation. Therefore, I am giving myself the liberty to make mistakes, make assumptions (call me out on offensive ones, though!), not tie up loose ends, and generally not make any sense. 

Copyright 2016 Dorothea Trotter: because these writings are planning for actual text in my dissertation, some of this will appear in my dissertation. I hold the rights to the words in this post and require that interested parties ask for permission before copying the words or ideas too closely. Obviously, the date of posting is the date of copyright and I reserve the right to challenge suspected plagiarism in my future dissertation submission using these blogs as proof of originality. 


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s