Thematics: New Approaches

Claude Bremond
Thomas G Pavel
State University of New York Press

This book aims at refocusing critical reflection on thematics in the arts, a topic that has been neglected recently. The volume is divided into four sections: theoretical essays, applications to literature, reflections on thematics in music and the visual arts, and a conclusion.

The contributors, of international reputation, include Jean-Yves Bosseur, Claude Bremond, Menachem Brinker, Peter Cryle, Lubomír Dolezel, Françoise Escal, Thomas Pavel, Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan, Georges Roque, Jean-Marie Schaeffer, Cesare Segre, and Werner Sollars. In the theoretical section, the authors assess the need for new thematics, relate thematics to structural analysis and interpretation, and sketch a history of the discipline. The second section contains three applications to literature and examines the theme of the double, the Faustian literary theme, and the relation between literary theme and plot. The third section includes essays on classical music, modern music, and painting. The volume concludes with an essay on the aesthetic implications of thematic studies. The contributors answer questions about the nature of themes in general, and what would constitute a modern theory of literary themes.