International Journal of Literature and Arts

Special Issue

Reading Scenes in Modern and Contemporary Literature and Arts

  • Submission Deadline: 1 August 2024
  • Status: Open for Submission
  • Lead Guest Editor: Niketa Stefa
About This Special Issue
Reading heroines and heroes have populated literature and arts since the second half of the eighteenth century. In the modern media society, reading culture is once again in a state of upheaval, and book reading presents itself as an excellent field for reflecting on the cultural technique of reading and its evolution through history. Besides the current superficial modes of reading, for example picking out small chunks of information and parallel reading of several books as a response to the growing flood of information, there are also literature and arts that move in the opposite direction and highlight the intensive reading experience. For example, Peter Handke’s protagonists in his novel Der Bildverlust (2002) read “spelling, silently moving their lips...”. The high intensity of reading, the deliberateness with which the text is approached, heighten the perception of the act of reading. In artists’ performances, attention is focused on the reading scene through the choice of the place of reading, the gesture of reading, the change in the rhythm of reading until it stops, and the composition of the book itself (Marta Minujín’s living constructions with forbidden books, 1983, 2017). In artistic book objects, the narrativity consists in the haptics of the object and serves as a performance score for both the artist and the audience.
This issue of International Journal of Literature and Arts aims to provide current insights into the subject of reading that are worthy of further exploration or discovery, for example, through reflections on the following points:
  • Reading techniques between immersion and distance
  • Individual reading and social reading (events, festivals, readings and talks)
  • The reading medium and the reading expression (paper book, printed newspaper, art book, book construction and deconstruction)
  • Reading scenes in different contexts (repressive, censored political systems; lack of book market in wartime/post-war, remote or crisis areas; reading abroad or at home)
  • Reading as a privileged access to the interpretation of words that are meaningless in the present and, in general, to the perception of the world in earlier times
  • Lead Guest Editor
    • Niketa Stefa

      Department of Philosophy, Pontificia Università Urbaniana, Rome, Italy

    Guest Editors
    • Norbert Bachleitner

      Department of Comparative Literature, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

    • Michele Cometa

      Department of Culture and Society, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy

    • Miquel Beltrán

      Department of Philosophy and Social Work, University of the Balearic Islands, Palma, Spain

    • Luca Renzi

      Department of International Studies, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Urbino, Italy

    • Persida Lazarević

      Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures, University "G. d'Annunzio" Chieti-Pescara, Pescara, Italy

    • Gezim Gurga

      Department of Culture and Society, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy

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