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'Sich "bildsam" erhalten⋯': The Complex ordinariness of culinary things in Beuys's Gib miR Honig and Handke's 'Warum Eine Küche?'

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)795-817
Number of pages23
JournalModern Language Review
Issue number3
Early online date1 Jul 2016
Accepted/In press17 Dec 2015
E-pub ahead of print1 Jul 2016
Published1 Jul 2016


King's Authors


This article explores the complex ordinariness of culinary things as matter, image, and language (Prosa-Stillleben). Can an object be itself, 'without rhetoric', or is it always a likeness of something else? The language of food is examined in Joseph Beuys's postcard gib mir Honig and Peter Handke's play 'Warum eine Küche?'. While there is common ground with discourses of 'thing theory' and 'new' or 'green' materialism, the position adopted is closer to that of Peter Bürger and the Critical Theory of Theodor Adorno with its interest in the Bilderverbot. Goethe's Bildsamkeit is shown to unite the visual and literary works discussed.

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