Anke Johannmeyer

Doktorand i engelska med inriktning mot engelskspråkig litteratur vid Engelska institutionen

Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3 L
Box 527
751 20 Uppsala

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I received my MA in English Literature(s) from Uppsala University, where I was admitted into the PhD programme in 2010.

My dissertation project deals with some photographic aspects of the writings of E. M. Forster. It looks at how the medium of photography is employed -- alongside, and interwoven with, music, painting, and architecture -- as a literary device to convey meaning beyond the written word, and explores how this multidimensionality shapes and sustains the internal order of Forster's narratives.

Forster was greatly concerned with the role of art and how the arts relate to one another, and was convinced that literature on its own lacked the scale and intensity to generate and transmit what one might call the essence of things -- what he used to refer to as "truth" or "reality."1 I argue that, by drawing upon different art forms, including photography, by adapting their tools and methods, and by juxtaposing and interlacing these various devices, Forster achieves a multifacetedness in his narratives which seeks to convey additional means of conveyance to complement the literary dimension of his novels and short stories.

The way in which Forster constructs this multidimensionality, I claim, testifies to his remarkably nuanced understanding of how the arts relate to one another, and is pivotal to his idea of "the work of art [being] unique" because it is "the only object in the [...] universe to possess internal order."2 It is central to my analysis, that within this structural constellation, photography occupies a special position, in that it is the only art form which has at least one component in common with each of the other arts (apart from the aesthetic quality of composition which is the one element which all of the arts have in common, the one which Forster links to the creative process): with painting, photography shares the element of visuality; with music the element of time-space; with architecture the elements of space and time. In accordance with this interrelational model, Forster often employs pictorial and photographic devices contrastively, and photographic and musical devices complementary. If my argument is sound, it will emerge that the internal order of Forster's novels is directly based upon the natural relationships in which the various art forms stand to each other, and that this structural constellation, in turn, depends on the photographic dimension of his narratives.

1For example, in his essay "Not Listening to Music."

2In "Art for Art's Sake."

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Senast uppdaterad: 2021-03-09