The Unifying Aspects of Cultures


"Literature" as a Cross Section of Cultures

Chair of the section/Suggestions, Abstracts, Papers to:
Email: Reinhard Krüger (Stuttgart)

ABSTRACT: There can be no doubt about it: one of the most important means for the transfer of knowledge from one culture to the other is to be seen in the processes of the reception of cultural knowledge that is stored in the form of texts. Texts are relatively stable, consistent configurations of signs, which exist in ephemeral (for example, oral or gestic) or more lasting (for example, graphic, architectural) media. They are the subject of a steady stream of books - and the accompanying processes of interpretation - and the transformations, which can occur from book to book, from one process of storing to the next.

If a text in the process of its reception crosses the borders from one culture to another, it becomes a cross section between these two or even several cultures. It becomes a shared reference system, for example, in anthropological, ethical, professional, gestic, grammatical-lexical, historiographic, juristic, computistic, monetary, religious respects, to name only a few random examples.

The thesis is, that this kind of transfer processes of texts is the basis of the development of a number of cultural overlappings. These can be understood as micro-stations of a developing system of globally interconnected cultures, which nevertheless, viewed as a totality, will remain a poly-focused, established network of specific forms of acting and thinking. In this section we will investigate the structures of such processes.