7th Mytheme Webinar: Interiors and Interiority: Mytheme Theory and Herman Bang’s Impressionist Aesthetics April 22, 2021
Claire McKeown (Université de Lorraine)
The writer Herman Bang is a key figure of late 19th century Danish culture, and a self-proclaimed literary impressionist. Critical studies of his work have discussed this aspect of his writing, emphasising the stylistic elements, themes and epistemological positioning associated with this intermedial inspiration.
Parallels have often been drawn between Bang’s texts and the works of the artist Vilhelm Hammershøi, referring to melancholy domestic atmospheres and solitary female protagonists, and even to a specifically Danish approach to aesthetics. These intuitive connections between texts and visual art are countered by the tension surrounding the notion of literary impressionism, which is frequently dismissed as vague, facile – or a critical myth. I will apply Mytheme Theory and both paper and digital approaches to several of Bang’s novels in order to explore these visual aspects of his writing within the wider context of Mythemes of the North.
Part of the Mytheme project and its podcast channel: https://pod.unistra.fr/mythemes/