In: KulturPoetik 2006, Heft 1


Meike Adam


»Das Fremdeste paarend und das nächste treffend«. Hofmannsthal, Kafka, Grünbein und der Mehrwert literarischen Sprechens




What distinguishes poetic from ordinary language? The notion of the literary surplus has long been a major theme in poetological discussions. This article focuses on the function of the disruption of normal language use in and the importance of the unutterable and the unsaid for modern and post-modern literature taking Hofmannsthal, Kafka and Grünbein as examples. On the basis of semiotic and deconstructive theories the conclusion is drawn that poetic language is not fundamentally different from ›normal‹ language: both are constructive. But literature has a special way of exposing the creation of meaning through language and therefore lays bare certain conditions for the transmission of understanding through the medium of  language.