SIEF2013 11th Congress.
Joep Leerssen: Sleeping Beauty gets around: popular-elite, cross-national, and inter-medial circulation

Video by: UTTV 02.07.2013 8344 views Cultural Science and Arts



Culture, as a set of self-perpetuating instances of communicative praxis, has an inherent
power of dissemination [a] over time, [b] across social strata and societies and [c] between
media of expression. A folktale like Hansel and Gretel can become an internationally renowned opera, a Celtic cross can become the logo of neo-fascism. This "procreativity" (Rigney 2012) makesthe dissemination of culture, describable though it is in a limited number of structural
parameters, a "complex system" ‘ like a Rubik's cube. By the same token,
the procreative mobility of culture means that it ties together widely different periods in history, different social strata or societies, and different media of expression. It is only recently
that we are beginning to realize the full importance of culture's power to
establish "wormholes" and tunnelling links between different social and historical
dimensions. I want to explore the complex systemics and procreative power of culture
by addressing a case linking folklorism, elite literature, historicist architecture and
painting: the combined impact of the Sleeping Beauty tale and the Barbarossa myth
in German nationalism, as manifested in the late-19th-century restoration
of the Imperial Manor of Goslar. I shall follow the historical evidence
from Goerres's "Die teutschenVolksb├╝cher" of 1808 to the allegorical
murals painted by Hermann Wislicenus in Goslar in the 1880s.