Aesthetic Multilingualism as Ontological Relativism

Milorad Pavić's Dictionary of the Khazars and Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves

  • Andreas Hudelist University of Graz


The text is brought to life through reading. This has not only been understood by literary scholars like Wolfgang Iser or Umberto Eco, but also by authors or poets. This can be recognized in some literary texts when, from the first page, the reader is forced by the author to actively shape the story to be read. The concept of fold, coined by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, seems to take into account many strategies of authors to stimulate the negotiation process between author and reader. By fostering non-linear and parallel stories, which lead to many worlds interpretation, the agency of the reader comes to its fore. We can observe very different strategies like this for example in novels of Mark Z. Danielewski and Milorad Pavić. Using the concepts of Deleuze and Guattari, I want to explore how multilingualism can be understood aesthetically and how it leads us to an ontological relativism in literature.