In: KulturPoetik 2016, Heft 2


Charlotte Kurbjuhn


Vom physiognomischen Fragment zum Röntgenatlas. Invasive Visualität, bildgebende Verfahren und Subjektkonstituierung bei Thomas Mann, M. Blecher, Thomas Kling und Durs Grünbein




In 1916 several publications appeared documenting the relevance of radiology for the diagnosis of war injuries. The new imaging technique fundamentally disrupted any self-assurance the subject might previously have derived from a sense of physical integrity, as this had now become visually permeable. Since the 18th century, classical sculpture had epitomized the humanistic ideal, visibly enclosed and symbolized by the plastic contour, emphasizing the latter as the last ›boundary‹ of the individual in times of universal upheaval. Radiographs thus seemed symptomatic of the modern condition humaine. Nowadays, compared with imaging techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging and the colourful pixels seen in neuro-aesthetics, they represent only nostalgic mementos.