Crossing art-borders. A consideration of Walter Pater's Anders-streben and its relation to modern and contemporary (theory of) art

Start - End 
2021 - 2025 (ongoing)



The English writer, art- and literature critic Walter Horatio Pater (1839 -1894) is considered as very influential in the aesthetic movement. Thanks to his aesthetics, his writings also live on in the field of art and art theory; the concept of Anders-streben is a prominent example of this. Anders-streben is used by Pater in his work Studies in the History of the Renaissance (1873) where he attributes it to “German critics” and describes it within his ideas about the renaissance. Pater, however, does not provide much clarity about the term and mentions it only a few times in his work. The concept can be translated as “other striving”, a tendency of each art to overcome its limits in order to achieve the effects of another art form. Anders-streben is often mentioned in research, but a thorough study of the term is nevertheless lacking in current literature. My aim is to provide an adequate explanation and overview of Anders-streben within Pater’s complete oeuvre and to show how the term is still relevant to this day by examining parallel 20th- and 21st-century concepts applied in art (theory). The project should shed new light on this opaque term, with which I aspire to supersede existing work by being more profound and by demonstrating Anders-streben’s affinity with modern and contemporary concepts such as intermediality and transmediality.




Phd Student(s)