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Within the last couple of years Siri Hustvedt has become one of the most productive contemporary American writers of fiction. Nevertheless, only slowly literary scholarship pays adequate attention to her complex narratives. This study aims to fill this gap by interpreting all her to date published novels from an approach termed "literary visuality," a theoretical framework that combines concepts of intermediality and ekphrasis with a phenomenological perspective. Hustvedt's novels are analyzed in a way that allows to draw conclusions concerning the development of Hustvedt's prose oeuvre but also to locate her work in the context of contemporary American literature. The study argues that through Hustvedt's stimulation of the visual sense by means of detailed descriptive passages, the texts acquire an aesthetic dimension that oscillates between the static and the dynamic. Moreover these descriptions serve as instructions for acts of visualization in the reader, one of the central reasons for the increasing appeal of Hustvedt's novels. von Hartmann, Johanna
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Johanna Hartmann has taught American literature at the University of Augsburg since 2010. In her research she focuses on intermediality, literary visuality, and ekphrasis in contemporary American literature and American drama. Among her recent publications (both 2015) are the collected volumes, Zones of Focused Ambiguity in Siri Hustvedt's Works: Interdisciplinary Perspectives' (DeGruyter, together with Christine Marks and Hubert Zapf) and Censorship and Exile (V&R Verlag, together with Hubert Zapf).