Beyond Language: On Intermediality (and Multimodality) in Literature

Dominika Bugno-Narecka


The article questions the traditional application of intermedial categories to literature. It aims to show that thinking in modes and clear-cut categories suggested, among others, by Lars Elleström, though systematic and presumably universal, is limited and considerably narrows down the intermedial potential of literature and the interart exchange. The literary examples discussed: Orhan Pamuk’s The Museum of Innocence and Patrick Gale’s Notes from an Exhibition, as well as other examples provided in the article, illustrate how the primacy of language in literature can be questioned and how the presumptions we have concerning literature and books can be challenged.


literature; intermediality; multimodality; museum collection; cabinet of curiosities

Full Text:



Atã, P., & Schirrmacher, B. (2022). Media and modalities – Literature. In J. Bruhn, & B. Schirrmacher (Eds.), Intermedial Studies: An Introduction to Meaning Across Media (pp. 42–55). London, New York: Routledge.

Baldick, Ch. (2001). The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press.

Bredekamp, H. (1995). The Lure of Antiquity and the Cult of the Machine: The Kunnstkammer and the Evolution of Nature, Art and Technology (A. Brown, Trans.). Princeton: Markus Wiener Publishers.

Bugno-Narecka, D. (2019). (Neo)baroque Ekphrasis in Contemporary Fiction. Lublin: Wydawnictwo Katolickiego Uniwersytetu Lubelskiego Jana Pawła II.

Elleström, L. (Ed.) (2010). Media Borders, Multimodality and Intermediality. Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Elleström, L. (2014). Media Transformation: The Transfer of Media Characteristics Among Media. Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Elleström, L. (2018). Identifying, Construing and Bridging over Media Borders. Scripta Uniandrade, 16(3), 15–30.

Elleström, L. (2021). The Modalities of Media II: An Expanded Model for Understanding Intermedial Relations. In L. Elleström (Ed.), Beyond Media Borders: Vol. 1. Intermedial Relations among Multimodal Media (pp. 3–91). Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Gale, P. (2008). Notes from an Exhibition. London, New York, Toronto, Sydney, New Delhi: Harper Perennial.

Gibbons, A. (2012). Multimodality, Cognition and Experimental Literature. London, New York: Routledge.

Hayles, K. (2008). Electronic Literature: New Horizons for the Literary. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press.

Hight, J. (2006). Views from above: Locative narrative and the landscape. LEA Leonardo Electronic Almanac, 14(7–8), 1–10.

Hooper-Greenhill, E. (1992). Museums and the Shaping of Knowledge. London & New York: Routledge.

Klarer, M. (2004). An Introduction to Literary Studies. 2nd ed. London, New York: Routledge.

Leyton, M. (1992). Symmetry, Causality, Mind. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Pamuk, O. (2009). The Museum of Innocence. [eBook, Alfred A. Knopf].

Pamuk, O. (2012). The Innocence of Objects: The Museum of Innocence, Istanbul (E. Oklap, Trans.). New York: Abrams Books.

Wahl, F. (Ed.) (1989). The Rustle of Language (R. Howard, Trans.). Berkeley: University of California Press.

Yates, F. (1999). Selected Works: Vol. 3. Art of Memory. London, New York: Routledge.

Yates, F. (1999). Selected Works, Volume 3: The Art of Memory. London & New York: Routledge.

Date of publication: 2022-10-31 18:06:31
Date of submission: 2022-08-05 16:59:25


Total abstract view - 774
Downloads (from 2020-06-17) - PDF - 356



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2022 Dominika Bugno-Narecka

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.