Oliver Hartmann

Intermediality in the Japanese contemporary novel using the example of Yoshida Shūichi, Shimada Masahiko and Murakami Haruki (Japanese Studies)

Oliver Hartmann, born in 1977 in Worms, Germany, received his German High School Diploma in 1997 from Rudi-Stephan Gymnasium in Worms. From 1997 until 2000 he studied classical stage dance and dance educational theory at the Mannheim University of Music and Performing Arts, and at the Ballet Institute of Rhineland-Palatinate in Ludwigshafen.

In 2005, after five years as a professional dancer, he enrolled for Japanese Studies / East Asian Studies as well as East Asian History of Art at the Freie Universität Berlin. He completed several interships at the German Embassy in Tokyo or the Goethe Institute in Kyoto, and received a three-months scholarship for the „direct exchange program“ offered by the Freie Universität to study at Nihon University in Tokyo. In 2009 he completed his Bachelor’s degree with the thesis „Die Video-Erinnerungen von Boku in Yoshida Shūichis Kurzroman Saigo no musuko [Der letzte Sohn] und die Inszenierung des eigenen Lebens“ (The video-memories of Boku in Yoshida Shūichis short novel Saigo no musuko [The last son] and the staging of one‘s own life).

From October 2011 till May 2015 he was a doctoral student at the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School for Literary Studies. In May 2015 he earned his doctoral degree.

His dissertation project examines intermedia phenomena in printed works of contemporary Japanese literature. The corresponding texts are written by the Japanese authors Yoshida Shūichi, Shimada Masahiko and Murakami Haruki and were published between 1983 and 2008. The central research question for the intermedia analysis examines (1) the altermedia systems the Japanese primary texts refer to and (2) how these references are functionalized for the construction of meaning within these works. Furthermore it will be investigated whether any specific Japanese characteristics concerning intermediality, which might be based upon traditional Japanese perception patterns of artistic media, can be identified.

This research project not only documents the relevance of intermediality in literary writing of contemporary Japan, but also makes a contribution to the general intermediality research. The application of intermediality theory to the literature of the Japanese archipelago allows for a comparisons with intermedia analyses of European texts by identifying similarities and differences in the functionalities of intermediality across different literary traditions.