Mission Statement

After the Second World War, many European countries witnessed a surge of radical innovation in literature. In the wake of the historical avant-garde, the neo-avant-garde undermined genre distinctions (especially those between essay, prose, and poetry) and distinctions between literature and non-literature (other media, arts, etc.). This complex mix challenges the extant textual methods for analysis, such as narratology and poetry analysis.

By combining the expertise of its partners, ENAG wants to study the transnational dynamics of the European neo-avant-garde. It aims to

  1. chart the innovative neo-avant-garde movements for a number of European countries, focusing on texts in which the putative borders of essay, poetry and narrative fiction are crossed.
  2. reveal the manifold synchronic interactions between these movements across.
  3. reveal the diachronic links between the innovations of the postwar neo-avant-garde and the historical avant-garde of the first half of the twentieth century.
  4. develop a methodology and a toolbox that match the experimental strategies of the texts under scrutiny.

To reach these aims, the Research Community focuses on the following topics:

  • The politics of neo-avant-garde literature
  • The regional and the global in postwar avant-gardes
  • Technology, media, and intermediality in neo-avant-garde literature
  • Forms of writing: style, language, and narrative composition in European avant-gardes