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Saratov State Socio-Economic University, Russia
Championship participant: the National Research Analytics Championship - "Russia";
the Open European-Asian Research Analytics Championship;
The paper studiesthe phenomenon of synesthesia as an aestheticcategory, adopted in philosophy and psycholinguistics, and as an aesthetic component of figurative contexts, semantically connected with a sphere of music in Hoffmann, Bulgakov andSüskind’s novels. The synesthesia is realized as implementation of an interperceptional associative thinking, connected with the category of an artistic aesthetic perception. The term “aesthetic synesthesia” is used as the definition for intermodal sensations that are verbalized by a language of a literary work.
Keywords: synesthesia, aesthetics, art, association, perception, worldview
The category of “aesthetic”, closely related to the conception “art”, appeared from philosophical world outlook and kept an inclination to “the perception in art” as one of its basic invariable characteristics. The aesthetics of the Hellenism’s epoch was based on the growing influence of sensual-irrational tendencies in the art. The main subject of the study of a medieval aesthetics became a supersensual world wherewith to be defined more exactly the concept of beauty and aesthetic pleasure. Having transformed in the Renaissance, the anthropoaesthetic consciousness universalized a centric concept “perception” as a psychological state of the person, who perceived a work of art. The XVII-XVIII centuries called again human attention to an irrational sensory-psychological perception in discourses about the art that was solved by an association. The schools of thought for study of the category “aesthetic” such as the aesthetic subjectivism and the aesthetics within the framework of the English empirical psychology appeared during that period. The XIX-XX centuries were marked by overstepping the limits of the philosophical aesthetics, and moving in the direction of natural sciences, and by an emergence of metaphysical aesthetic conceptions: aesthetics “in-sensation”, spiritual aesthetic synthesis, phenomenological and semantical aesthetics.
The aesthetic facts were interpreted by the language of physical phenomena in their aggregate. The conversion to the cognition and an assessment of aesthetic things was outlined by means of the irrational submodal perception with the breaking of a previous original shape of artwork’s existence, where a determinative harmonious part is assigned for a content or a language fact in the institutionalization of the literary work.
The persistence models of “aesthetic” are developed on the basis of manifestations of irregularity and nonisomorphy in the art. The new informational approach to the creative work psychology is used within the framework of the empirical aesthetics. (G.A. Golitsyn, L.Ya. Dortman, D.A. Leontiev, V.M. Petrov, V.P. Ryzhov).
In that way the sensory associations and perceptions had been forming the aesthetic category for a long time. With speeding up the development of the world, the models of human perception evolved in the direction of deepening of the sensory image and multidimensionality, and “of information acquisition about a phenomenon and an object according to projections in different spaces” by means of art form associativity. [Ryzhov, 1997: 75].
All aforesaid makes it possible to regard the phenomenon of synesthesia or “a creative realization of associative thinking that presents a psychophysical universal basis for interperceptional interactions in the art” as aesthetic category. [Prokofieva, 2007: 40]
The synesthesia has psychological, physiological and linguistic characteristics. An interpretation of this phenomenon from different stand-points follows from diversity of synesthetical connections. The definition of the synesthesia is accepted in psychology as a condition by which the sense experience, connected with one modality, appears under the influence of another modality, or as “a process of superposition of different representative systems, characterizing with such occurrences as “visual-perceptional chains” in which the person puts out his sensations of what he sees; and “audio-perceptional chains” in which the person gets his sensations of what he hears. Two of any sensory modalities can be connected with each other”. [Shewchuk, 2008: 122-123].
A.R. Luriya considers the synesthesia as a physiological mechanism of sensation emergence in one modality in response for a signal in another modality. Therefore the synesthesia is represented as an actual mixed sensation or a secondary sensation of another modality. E.Yu. Artemieva and V.F. Petrenko mean by the synesthesia the psychological mechanism of a mutual translation from one modality into another one or as the mechanism of categorization that has a defined extramodal structure, organizing object images of the surrounding world and forming a subjective space of the individual. A tentative assessment of the perceptional objects relying on certain common factors that have an emotive character can be realized with the help of such mechanism. We should note Petrenko’s idea that scientifically proves a synthetic character of the world image construction and draws a conclusion about a single method of assessment structuring according to an object, despite the defined modality what is evidence of existence of single semantic coordinates of the subjective experience, revealing the mechanisms that keep its unity (the synesthesia and metaphorical transfer). [Petrenko, 1988] L.P. Prokofieva shares his opinion, having included associativity of a synesthetical type into classical common patterns of the associative perception types as a complex world reflection. [Prokofieva, 2007: 12]. The phenomenon “synesthesia” is described as a beam of different modal associations and as a manner of a mental world organization in her monograph. Such associative sensations are produced into the sensitive-associative-figurative space of the text.
Researchers in the field of the philosophical aesthetics, B.M. Galeev and I.L. Vanechkina interpret the synesthesia as a natural conscious ability to correlate with different modal objects, the interperceptional association, produced in the culture and determined by the society. Besides the conceptions of universal synesthetical regularities, acquired by people in the process of socialization in the way of a specified cultural context and individual synesthetical regularities, acquired by means of the personal experience and having the distinctiveness are discriminated.
The work of art represents intellectual and material values in the context of the defined culture. And if synesthesia is understood as an isolated case of the synthesis, being grown out from the syncretism of a human spiritual world, and in this case any text becomes the synesthetical ones through olfactory, gustatory, tactile, visual and audio communication. “Any culture develops the technological system for information transmission of intellectual values. It reproduces ideal absolutes of its time through the system of rites and rituals, visual and audio systems. An artist recreates these ideal values of the culture by means of their personality reproduction and transformation.” [Yakovlev, 1992: 3].
The worldview of the writer is developed from a great number of cooperating components that represent an integral system. It is reproduced in the form of a polymodal mosaic from sounds, colours, smells, tactile and visual sensations in the perception of the reader. So the synesthetical worldview of the writer is reconstructed and represents itself as “a fragment of his common poetic worldview; a total presentation of the person about the world of sound and colour, reflected in idiostyle; as a system of proper aesthetic senses, being revealed in the process of an artistic communication.” [Prokofieva, 2007: 229].
The writer’s aspiration for the search of nonverbal means of emotional expression leads to an adoption of figurative methods from other fields of art that make it possible to project an actuality of another type in the work of art. The interpenetration of musical, literary, theatrical, artistic and pictorial elements interweaved with each other and accepted the liaison, but with the predominance of modality of the defined type can be found in the works of many writers-synesthets, for example, E.T.A. Hoffmann and M.A. Bulgakov. As distinct from prevailing “synesthesia of arts”, a specific perceptional reproduction of the reality is caused by adjacent olfactory and musical visuoauditory associations in the novel “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer”by Patrick Süskind.
The aesthetic synesthesia, being realized by the author’s thinking through the prism of musical art, is a special way of perception of the world in the context of the writer’s creative work. So the artistic worldview is represented with the help of explicit and implicit musical associations, it is mediated by Hoffmann’s metaphorical comprehension above all that is the expression of individual-author’s one: “Mir war's, ich wandle in einem herrlichen Garten, in dem unter dichtem dunklem Gebüsch Nachtviolen und Rosen durcheinander blühten und ihr süßes Aroma in die Lüfte streuten. Ein wunderbarer Schimmer, wie Mondesglanz, ging auf in Ton und Gesang, und wie er die Bäume, die Blumen mit goldnem Strahl berührte, bebten sie vor Entzücken, und die Büsche säuselten, und die Quellen flüsterten in leisen sehnsüchtigen Seufzern. Da gewahrte ich aber, dass ich selbst der Gesang sei, der durch den Garten ziehe, doch so wie der Glanz der Töne verbleiche, müsse ich auch vergehen in schmerzlicher Wehmut!“[Hoffmann, 1990: 204]. The harmonization or the liaison of synesthetical associations such as visual, olfactory, acoustic can be observed in Hoffmann’s detailed metaphorical images.
The nomination “musical sound” or the nomination with the second seme “musical sound” is caused by the following types of sensations in Hoffmann’s work:
1. tactile sensation and audio modality: „sanfte, leise Musik“, „zarte Melodie“, ”harter Ton”, „rührender Ton“;
2. taste sense and audio modality: „süβe Musik“, ”bitter Ton”, “kätzliche Süβigkeit des Andantes”, „süβlispelnder Ton“;
3. pain sense and audio modality: „das Herz durchschneidender Ton“, ”wehmutigster Ton”, “ der Brust durchschneidender Ton”, “ihr Choral zerreiβt die menschliche Brust“;
4. visual sensation and audio modality: „wie der Glanz der Töne verbleiche“; “hell und klar hinströmenden Melodie“, „anlockender Ton“, „schrecklicher Ton“;
5. visual auditory sense and audio modality: „die gewaltigen Töne“, ”ertönte die Wetterharfe wie dumpfes, fernes Glockengeläute”, “in dem brausenden Strom der Akkorde”, “der Pralltriller”, „leise beginnend, brauste der Gesang stärker und mächtiger“;
6. sense of emotional perception and audio modality: „im wehmütigen Adagio“, „klägliche Melodie“, „wilde, unruhige Akkorde durcheinander auffuhren aus ihrer wunden Brust“, „tröstende Melodie“, „fromme Musik“;
7. sensation of motion and audio modality: „hell und klar hinströmenden Melodie“, „schwammen die Töne deines tief ins Herz dringenden Liedes herüber“, “die himmlischen Rouladen gingen glanzvoll aus unserm Innern heraus“, „schwankender Ton“.
These examples demonstrate an associativity of the sound with emotive and psychophysiological characteristics.
Bulgakov’s using of the musical sound or the action in a direct nominative meaning is represented in the constructions that are built on metonymical patterns, with grotesque, in conjunction with verbs, emphasizing a degree of sound intensity in the following contexts. These verbs are correlated semantically with other fields of activity. The sounds evoke:
1. kinesthetic and vibratory senses: ”вырвался и полетел громовой виртуозный вальс”, “сыплющийся в переулке вальс”, “хор начал разрастаться”, “обрушился рев труб”, “оркестр окатывал звуками”, “музыка ударила”, “(звуковая) волна толкнула”, “загремела песня”, “гремел джаз”, “полонез дул в спину”;
2. auditory sense and audiomodality: “музыкально мурлыкал”, “вырвался хриплый рев полонеза”, “бальный звук”, “слабые звуки труб”, “переулок огласился песней”, “звуки фокстрота”, “малопонятные, полуслепые, но разудалые слова этого марша”, “звуки немного фальшивых труб”, “под звуки праздно шатающейся гармоники”;
3. sense of emotional perception and audiomodality: “звучание унылого турецкого барабана”, “со звуками назойливого патефона”, “что-то коротко и весело прокричавшая труба”, “жалобный вой рояля”, “доносилась зудящая веселенькая мелодия”.
Implicit emergences of the synesthesia are observed in the using of author’s allusions and in the musical quotations that organize intertextual connections. Associative compositions such as personage allusions are generally connected with the musical (acoustic) form of the synesthesia. Proper names are ordinary components of Bulgakov’s poetics, its system of signs. They have a particular sound and letter structure, the particular semantic pattern and a communicative function; carry secondary meanings in themselves; contain associative references, reminiscence and sometimes cryptography.
A wide choice of musical lexis in the novels of the authors under study enables to bring them to special genre of a musical novel. The masterful using of the wealth on the whole of the musical terms is dictated not only by choice of the particular artistic method, but aesthetic principles, connecting with the world of music, where writers and their characters live, where they try to immerse the reader. Thereupon a figurative layer of the novels “The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr” and “The Master and Margarita” plays the main role, making it possible to reproduce musical impressions of the author by means of combination of the musical terms with the special epithets, apt metaphors, figurative similes and metonymies as well. Common musical conceptions are significant in these constructions, presenting authors’ and their characters’ expression of ideas and perceptions.
One of the transmission forms of associative information is the verbal rhinesthesia in the language of the novel “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer”by Patrick Süskind. The smell is the main component of different associations and the primary source of the world conception. Jean-Baptiste Grenouille’s world is weaved with smells that give rise to adjacent association – a form, a colour, a visual and tactile image of an object or a living creature. „Andrerseits hätte die gängige Sprache schon bald nicht mehr ausgereicht, all jene Dinge zu bezeichnen, die er als olfaktorische Begriffe in sich versammelt hatte. Bald roch er nicht mehr bloß Holz, sondern Holzsorten, Ahornholz, Eichenholz, Kiefernholz, Ulmenholz, Birnbaumholz, altes, junges, morsches, modriges, moosiges Holz, ja sogar einzelne Holzscheite, Holzsplitter und Holzbrösel - und roch sie als so deutlich unterschiedene Gegenstände, wie andre Leute sie nicht mit Augen hätten unterscheiden können.“[Süskind, 1995: 24]
The main character is kinesthet, receiving some information through the perception of the surrounding world, seeking to translate images into a smell language and trying to smell everything and stick it in his mind, using intuition as principal instrument for the information processing. “Am ehesten war seine Begabung vielleicht der eines musikalischen Wunderkindes vergleichbar, das den Melodien und Harmonien das Alphabet der einzelnen Töne abgelauscht hatte und nun selbst vollkommen neue Melodien und Harmonien komponierte - mit dem Unterschied freilich, dass das Alphabet der Gerüche ungleich größer und differenzierter war als das der Töne, und mit dem Unterschied ferner, dass sich die schöpferische Tätigkeit des Wunderkinds Grenouille allein in seinem Innern abspielte und von niemandem wahrgenommen werden konnte als nur von ihm selbst.“[Süskind, 1995: 25].
The world harmony of a composed music associatively is transferred to the harmony of the world of smells, where any smell is a note; its combination is a piece of music or perfumes art. The creation of an ideal-harmonious smell is related to the composing of a musical work. The author creates his polyphony of smells in the novel by law of the highest ideal world of musical art. The verbalization of smells occurs through metaphorical composites such as author’s neologisms, represented as associative arrays: Unauffälligskeitsgeruch, Geruch des Wasserteppiches, Duftfaden, Geruchssatz, Geruchsgebäude, Geruchsaura.
So, the synesthetical associativity with the reflective musical-acoustic and visual modalities appears in the novels “The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr”, “The Master and Margarita” and the associativity with reflective kinesthetic modality in the novel “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer”.
The synesthesia as a component of an aesthetic communication becomes apparent in figurative contexts, where the authors use the following types ofstylistic devices and expressive means:
Stylistic devices and expressive means
“The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr”
“The Master and Margarita”
“Perfume: The Story of a Murderer”
acoustic, colour- visual, kinesthetic
kinesthetic, musical, colour -visual
musical-acoustic, kinesthetic, visual
acoustic, colour- visual, kinesthetic
kinesthetic, colour- visual
kinesthetic, colour- visual
detailed associative metaphorical images
musical-acoustic, colour-visual, tactile, kinesthetic
kinesthetic, colour- visual
musical, cultural, literary
musical, cultural, literary, colour
Hoffmann and Bulgakov comprehend the phenomena of the surrounding world with the help of synesthetical musical and colour-visual images. The individual-specific traits are reflected in frequency of lexemes using, characterizing the musical sounding and being defined with the mixed submodal perception (acoustic, visual, kinesthetic) on the conceptual level. Synesthetical acoustic images, semantically connected with classical music, prevail in Hoffmann’s figurative contexts. The aesthetic comprehension of the world through a language of art and associations, closely related to its, is characterized for the writers-synesthets such as Bulgakov and Hoffmann. The concept “art” that is verbalized in their texts expresses the central idea of harmonicity of the art world and desire for improving of life disharmony through the instrumentality of art. In so doing conceptions “music, painting, literature” are meaningful for an artistic worldview of writers. A classical music is interpreted in the semantic space of Hoffmann’s figurative contexts, an instrumental music is done in Bulgakov’s ones that are mediated by the professional activity of these writers, who have a certain attitude towards the world of art, and by individual associations and traditional ones for each of national cultures (the phenomenon of the classical music and bell-ringing, typical for German culture and the phenomenon of a song, distinctive for Russian culture).
Süskind’s novel abounds in kinesthetic associations, based on the contiguity of olfactory, auditory, acoustic, visual modalities. The conception “art of the perfumes” as the harmony of aromas, organized by laws of musical harmony, becomes the main category of writer’s world outlook. The notion of music as the auditory art is the secondary one. Musical nominations verbalize smell, stylistic devices and expressive means intensifyinterspecific associations, combining concepts of different semantical spheres. Associative correlations between smell and musical sound, smell and colour, reminiscence, symbolical implication of colour perception become significant in this aspect.
The more synesthetical a literary work is, the greater it is, according to B. Galeev. The synesthesia is a specific way ofinformation coding. The aesthetic synesthesia is verbalized by the language of a literary work by means of figurative speech and stylistic devices, which components acquire an ability to combine with each other on the basis of interspecific or sometimes adjacent associations; it objectifies aesthetic ideals of native speakers and makes it possible for reconstructing the writer’s conceptual worldview.