The dissertation is dedicated to the analysis of the forms, functions and effects of intermedial references to poems and poets in visual(ising) culture with a special focus on their integration in movies, videogames, and songs. The theoretical framework is constituted by literature-, culture-, and media studies, as it paves the way for a research interest in audience reception, participation in the process of meaning-making, interactivity, hermeneutic interpretability and relevant psychosocial recontextualisations. Discernible interferences of cognitive cultural studies (cf. L.
Zunshine) with affect studies (cf. M. Gregg & G. Seigworth) are echoed in what in the dissertation is referred to as the 'Four E's of Edutainment' which have been extracted during the research process (being Ethics, Empathy, Eschatology and Epistemology) and which, in addition, significantly shaped the criteria according to which the written corpus of poetic pretexts under academic investigation was compiled.
A variety of the forms which modified and/or unmodified original poems take on when embedded in movies, games, and songs is analysed. The main functions one can extract are: The function of character-emphasis, which includes references coined by protagonists or minor characters reciting from poems, concentrating on lines that demarcate their special status/dilemma/emotional turmoil/despair/determination etc. against those presented in opposing positions. Plot- or narrative-emphasis is related to structural, aesthetic references, imitations, visual allusions/quotations. They appear as instances of medial convergence, i.e. as having been merged with character- and message-emphasis. Message-emphasis determines references which may point to a certain message, often related to mannerisms, properties, particularities that characters and subsequently recipients are supposed to either adopt or abandon. The dichotomy of encouragement versus warning is likely to be established. In relation to message-emphasis, context-emphasis may be integrated. These two functions are closely related.
In videogames the functions we can repeatedly encounter are the function as a leitmotif, a clue, a verbalised map, a general red thread through the montaged narrative. Character-, plot-, and message-related emphases of references to poems and poets in multimedial realisations result in emotional responses on the part of the recipient, encompassing whichever effects of perspective-taking are intended (e.g. warning, shock, empathy, compassion, relief, contemplation etc. are provoked by implemented references).
Didactic effects describe beneficial developments such as an increase in 'intermedia literacy' that can be brought about. The term denotes the sensitivity to discern, contextualise and interpret references to texts in various medial and modal realisations. This concept also renders multifaceted references usable in motivating methods of language-learning. This is also where the 'Four E's of Edutainment' are woven into the fabric of poetic multimedial expression.
Epistemological effects include the development of a more sensitive understanding for the facts that research requires ethics and that binary oppositions (e.g. good versus evil) are often being evoked by art. Remedialised products like movies and videogames which, in manifold manner, allude to poems as well as to their respective authors, who may have become iconic over centuries, are creative adaptations converging linguistic, auditory and visual codes. They can be read as testimonies of attempts to synthesise popular visualising culture and established philological achievements realised as canonical lyric text corpora.
These multimedial realisations translate poetry into motion, they set poetry in motion. Thematically considering the 'Four E's of Edutainment', emotional reactions are very likely to accompany their reception and cognitive progression. Inner images are being evoked by synaesthetic wording and the transfer into a visual medium moves them, makes them move on, transforms them and thus eventually also moves the recipients. It touches those who play the game or watch the film. Poetry is set in motion and emotion, as this associative word-chain demonstrates: 'motion picture - moving image - "movie" - literally and metaphorically, thus emotionally, "moving" (touching) picture/image' Certain metamorphoses of poems foster what in the project is called 'intermedia literacy'. Intermedial references do not linger in between media, but consolidate the best of worlds that only appear to be far apart. When, in the context of a visualising culture, poetry is translated into motion, we arrive at 'poetry in (e)motion' - an internationally relevant concept, an interpersonal phenomenon, maybe one universal language.