Picturesque of Literature and Literature of Fine Arts in Works of Twice Exceptional Expressionists


  • Sofiya Varetska Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, Ukraine



expressionism, expressionist, expressionist literature, expressionist painting, total work of art, Gesamtkunstwerk


The article considers a problem of the arts interaction, which is a characteristic feature of German expressionism. It analyzes works of gifted expressionists, which are fulfilling themselves not only as writers, but as painters too and vice versa. All attention is paid to such figures of expressionism as Oscar Kokoschka, Franz Kafka, Alfred Kubin. The article argues that the power of talent of such artists is so great that self-realization in one of the arts is not enough for them, and therefore they actively use the opportunity to reveal the facets of their giftedness not only verbally, but also visually, alternately changing brushes to pen. Such a synthesis is quite productive because these works are enriched by narrative thematic motifs, genre varieties, a figurative vision of reality, compositional figures of the material organization, etc. It is proved that the expressionists did not follow the modernist concept “Art for the sake of art”, yet for them a human is with his fears, complexes and visions in the center. Thus, the main aim of an artist is using various artistic means to show a sacred inner world where in contrast to the real philistine life a spiritual unity and harmony do exist. In a combination of text, drawing or music, or, like Kokoschka’s light and paint, expressionists try to convey through multimedia the sensual and sacred that arises for them as the purpose of existence.

Author Biography

Sofiya Varetska, Ivan Franko National University of Lviv

Department of German Philology

Ivan Franko National University of Lviv

1 Universytetska St., 79000, Lviv, Ukraine


Vorotnikova, A. (2017). N. V. Pestova. Avstriiskii literaturnyi ekspressionizm: monografiia [Austrian literary Expressionism]. Voprosy literatury, 2017, no. 1, pp. 384–389. (in Russian).

Havryliv, T. (2005). Zatsytovana apokalipsa: apokaliptychni ihry ta viziï ekspresionistychnoho avanhardu v Nimechchyni [Cited Apocalypse: Apocalyptic Games and Visions of the Expressionist Avantgarde in Germany]. Ekspresionizm. Lviv : VNTL-Klasyka, pp. 131–151. (in Ukrainian).

Zavyalova, D. (2010). Zabytyi ekspressionist Oskar Kokoshka [Forgotten expressionist Oskar Kokoschka]. Tsirkul', 6 May. (in Russian). URL : (accessed: 15 November 2020).

Kafka, F. (1991). Amerika. Protsess. Iz dnevnikov [America. Process. From the diaries]. Moscow : Politizdat, 606 p. (in Russian).

Kafka, F. (2012). Tvory: opovidannia, romany, lysty, shchodennyky [Works: stories, novels, letters, diaries]. Kyiv : A-BA-BA-HA-LA-MA-HA, 592 p. (in Ukrainian).

Matsenka S. (2017). Intermedial′ni zviazky slova ta muzyky v nimets′komu ekspresionizmi [Intermedial connections of words and music in German expressionism]. Naukovyi visnyk Skhidnoievpropeĭs′koho natsional′noho universytetu imeni Lesi Ukraïnky. Seriia “Filolohichni nauky. Literaturoznavstvo”, no. 11–12 (30–361), pp. 179–187. (in Ukrainian).

Pestova, N. (2015a). Avstriiskii literaturnyi ekspressionizm [Austrian Literary Expressionism]. Yekaterinburg : Ural. gos. ped. un-t, 2015, 273 p. (in Russian).

Pestova, N. (2015). Avstriiskii ekspressionizm v obshcheevropeiskom ekspressionistskom kontekste [Austrian Expressionism in the European Context]. Pedagogicheskoe obrazovanie v Rossii, no. 10, pp. 180–184. (in Russian). URL : (accessed: 15 November 2020).

Toper, M. (2008) (ed.). Entsiklopedicheskii slovar' ekspressionizma [Encyclopedic Dictionary of Expressionism]. Moscow : IMLI RAN, 736 p. (in Russian).

Frants Kafka v russkoi knizhnoi grafike (2013). [Franz Kafka in Russian book graphics]. Vystavka. Biblioteka Knizhnoi Grafiki. Saint Petersburg, 11.05.13. (in Russian). URL : (accessed: 15 November 2020).

Anz, Th. (2010). Der Sturm ist da. Zur literarischen Moderne im „expressionistischen Jahrzehnt“. 1 September. URL : (accessed: 15 November 2020).

Krause, F. (2006). Klangbewußter Expressionismus. Moderne Techniken des rituellen Ausdrucks. Berlin : Weidler, 2006, 322 s.



How to Cite

Varetska, S. “Picturesque of Literature and Literature of Fine Arts in Works of Twice Exceptional Expressionists”. Pitannâ lìteraturoznavstva, no. 102, Dec. 2020, pp. 134-47, doi:10.31861/pytlit2020.102.134.



Intertextuality and Intermediality