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Susanne Knaller (in collaboration with Stephan Moebius and Martina Scholger): Twilight zones: liminal texts of the long turn of the century (1880 to 1940) ; Austria, France, Germany

Graz: Unipub 2022

It is an uncontested fact that around 1880 and continuing into the first decades of the 20th century, Europe and the Western World witnessed a range of sweeping innovations in the sciences and the arts, in politics and society. The highly active  interactions between the new sciences and the arts that took place during the long turn of the century did not go unnoticed either. Surprisingly, what has not been revealed so far is a highly productive corpus of texts which reflects and at the same time constitutes this modern era. With far-reaching consequences for the next generations, the long turn of the century produces texts that react in a very particular manner to the new sciences, the new media, the positive and negative aspects of modern life, while discussing norms and values, confronting antagonism and dissolving old boundaries between all kind of systems. These texts can be labeled ›liminal texts‹ since they resist a classification according to the traditional systems, genres, and forms of the time.

Twilight Zones describes the detection of a new text corpus in modernity. It also presents the theoretical and methodological model developed for the collection and the analysis of this body of ›liminal texts‹, the results of the practical use of such a model as well as the concepts guiding the analytical digital anthology which completes the interdisciplinary project.