Image and Word in Postmodern Poetry: Friederike Mayröcker’s BROTWOLKE
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionOpen Cultural Studies. 2022, 6 (1), 1-11. 10.1515/culture-2020-0122
This article explores the interplay of visual arts and poetic images in postmodern poetry, focusing on the case of Friederike Mayröcker’s poem BROTWOLKE, nach Karla Woisnitza (1996) [BREADCLOUD, after Karla Woisnitza]. The article shows that BROTWOLKE belongs to a group of texts whose titles indicate an ekphrasis or an intermedial quality, but whose specific point of reference is absent. Rather than referencing to a specific painting, the poem thus showcases different aspects of the visual. Offering a close reading of the poem, the article explores Mayröcker’s special technique of image-writing and its dynamic effect on the reader. The article argues that the poem both “shows the word” and “writes the image.” It is shown that Mayröcker’s stream-of-consciousness is a process that refers to the act of writing in the first place and then to an inventory of texts and images that float the text as a stream of sense-data.