Jelinek: Teile + Zubehör


  • Armin Schäfer Fakultät Medien der Bauhaus-Universität Weimar



Elfriede Jelinek has detached German literature from the concept of traditional authorship by introducing cut-up and fold-in operations and the use of text-recyc­ling or computer programs. Therefore, her style is often described as >pop litera­ ture<. This article shows that sampling, as a technique of mixing diverse materials such as comic, crime or traditional fiction, is a dominant strategy in her work. Alt­ hough we find well known forerunners, such as Goethe or Thomas Mann who have produced remakes or pastiches, Jelinek does not follow them. In contrast, she analyses the mechanisms of quotation, authorship and individual style in the com­puter age. Sampling as a technique of contemporary electronic music could be used as a framework for media-history of literature in general. Jelinek’s sampling of texts is more and more developing into a method of discourse analysis. Moreover, the new discourse network of sampling generates a poetological principle that connects sen­ tences through contiguity. Yet, the looseness of sampled texts should not be mista­ken for arbitrariness, randomness, or chaos: there is multiplicity and manifoldness instead of unity, juxtaposition instead of sentences fitting into each other, and there are parts instead of wholes.





Schäfer, A. (2003). Jelinek: Teile + Zubehör. Österreichische Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaften, 14(3), 68–86.