Informational Practices in German Poetry: Ernst Meister, Oswald Egger, Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock
Pao, Lea Le
Doctor of Philosophy
Date of Defense:
June 08, 2017
Jonathan Eran Abel, Dissertation Advisor/Co-Advisor Samuel Mark Frederick, Committee Chair/Co-Chair Daniel Leonhard Purdy, Committee Member Shuang Shen, Committee Member Michele Jean Kennerly, Outside Member Samuel Mark Frederick, Dissertation Advisor/Co-Advisor Jonathan Eran Abel, Committee Chair/Co-Chair
Poetry German Poetry Information Ernst Meister Oswald Egger Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock German Literature
This dissertation addresses the ways in which the emergence of technological media and information theory has altered the place of poetry in the realm of human communication. Against claims that would see poetry as fundamentally opposed to information, I propose a reading of poetry as information and a counter-theory of information as a poetic practice. In three successive chapters, each on a distinct practice of the “information triangle” (storage, transmission, organization) and its poetic analogies (memory, communication, grammar), I develop such a practice through three figures that bridge the gap between the seemingly informational on the one side and the poetic on the other: Haltsamkeit, Mitteilung, and Mitausdruck. My major examples are from German-language poetry (Meister, Egger, Klopstock), with minor examples from English and Greek.