HTML and ‘Total Work of Art’

Today’s application in HTML with Reg Beatty was extremely helpful and informative. I had previously learned how to use HTML to insert an image. With the help of Reg for this week’s lecture, I now feel very comfortable working in the “Text” tab rather than mostly the “Visual” tab. It is helpful to know that we can do both and are able to visually see our creations after using HTML. As such, I feel much more prepared and empowered to create something more interesting for our upcoming Online Magazine Page!

I also enjoyed Koenraad Claes’s “Introduction,” as it really helped to solidify my understanding of the little magazine as a Total Work of Art. The paratext is also essential as we look at the little magazine as part of a whole. Claes uses Gérard Genette’s outline to define what the paratext is: “a zone between text and off-text, a zone not only of transition but also of transaction: a privileged place of a pragmatics and a strategy, of an influence on the public, an influence that – whether well or poorly understood and achieved – is at the service of a better reception for the text and a more pertinent reading of it” (4). What truly sets little magazines apart from the mainstream at this transitional stage is the fact that they considered everything from design, balance between visual and text, distribution, and production processes. As such, the little magazine emerges as something completely new, modern, and avant-garde. It is to be considered in its entirety as Wagner’s “Gesamtkunstwerk” (9), or translated, “’Total Work of Art’” (10).

Sabrina Pavelic, 5 October 2020