This volume on literary form charts some key directions which the reconsideration of form in literary studies is currently taking and may fruitfully pursue further. The papers collected here build upon recent inquiries into the relationship between form, structure and modelling and contribute to (re-)establishing ‘form’ as a key concept of literary studies. They explore the poetics and the history of form through case studies from a wide range of cultures, periods, and discourses. Contributors examine well-established binaries like ‘chaos vs. form’, ‘form vs. matter’, or ‘content vs. form’, as well as their dynamic counterparts in concepts like morphology and ‘inner form’, or form as operational self-reference.
These reconsiderations all participate in the project of a ‘poetics of culture’ broadly conceived, and they fall into three larger categories: historical and systematic studies of theories of form (ideas and concepts of form), dynamics of form (generic transformation), and cultures of form (transfers of forms between cultures, disciplines, and media).