A poetry festival which celebrates experimental poetry and the contemporary and historic avant-garde and its artists.
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1. KATARZYNA BAZARNIK i ZENON FAJFER (Poland)
The book contains multilayered text of a fractal-like structure written in overlapping kinds of writing and has an intentionally torn cover. It initiated as volume 1 “Liberatura” publishing line of Korporacja Ha!art in 2003. Two copies: the first edition of 2003, distributed with Ha!art Magazine, the second edition of 2009, published as companion volume with Oka-leczenie.
2. ZENON FAJFER (Poland)
ten letters / dwadzieścia jeden liter
translated by Katarzyna Bazarnik
A bilingual poetry volume, exploring the tensions between the visible and the invisible, the material and the virtual, the static and the kinetic. Paradoxically, the printed book, which features uncut and folded pages, offers its readers interaction while the film-poem on the DVD disc, which is the final part of the volume, invites them to contemplation. Series: Liberature, vol. 10-11, 2010.
3. ZENON FAJFER (Poland)
Liberature or Total Literature. Collected Essays 1999-2009
Liberatura czyli literatura totalna. Eseje zebrane z lat 1999-2009
A bilingual edition of essays and articles by the inventor of the term “liberature” and the proponent of “total literature”, edited and translated by his collaborator Katarzyna Bazarnik, prefaced by prof. Wojciech Kalaga, who defines liberature as a hybrid transgenre, claiming that it constitutes “the crowning” of the tendency to combine the visuality and the semantics of language, resulting in a reading experience “unknown to the reception of conventional literature.” A book with a twist as it has only one right angle. Series: Liberature, vol. 12, 2010.
4. ZENON FAJFER i KATARZYNA BAZARNIK (Poland)
Oka-leczenie, which initiated the contemporary movement of Liberature, authored by its main representatives and theorists: Zenon Fajfer and his wife and collaborator Katarzyna Bazarnik. The triple-codex Oka-leczenie owns its unconventional shape to two different narratives connected by an invisible thread running through the hidden spaces of the texts. The book contains visible text and the invisible, fractal-like texts, written in the emanational technique specially devised by Fajfer to render liminal experiences: the inaccessible stream of consciousness of a dying man, and an invisible world of the unborn baby. The readers can decide if they wish to uncover the invisible texts, or if they read only the surface text, but each way of reading makes for a different experience and a different story. One of the 9 copies of the first, prototype edition is housed in the New York Public Library. This copy is of the first trade edition of 2009 (print run of 1001 copies) vol. 8 of Liberature series.
5. ZENON FAJFER (Poland)
A poetic volume consisting of a printed book and a CD, contains a hypertextual labyrinth through which one can wander forward, backward, and into words, on the page or on the screen. The volume breaks off mid word that finds its continuation in the virtual space. Multidimensional poems written in the original, emanational form invite the readers to choose their own paths to explore visible and invisible worlds. Forma Publishing House 2013.
6. ZENON FAJFER (Poland)
Widok z głębokiej wieży (A View from a Deep Tower)
A finely crafted volume, fusing intimate memories, a lyrical travelogue, and ironic reflections on contemporary life in carefully arranged cycles of poems that subtly play out materiality and visuality of language. Including a balcony that extends into a different space. Forma Publishing House 2015.
7. ZENON FAJFER (Poland)
Spoglądając przez ozonową dziurę (Detect Ozone Whole Nearby)
This poem, exposed to the on-lookers’ gaze in a glass cage, is a book that redefines the notion of the book. In February 2009 a journal for Polish language and literature teachers “Polonistyka” included the Bottle in their list of suggestions for a new canon. The first edition of 200 copies came out in 2004, the second, corrected one of 500 copies appeared in 2009. Series: Liberature, vol. 2.
8. BLAISE CENDRARS & SONIA DELAUNAY (Switzerland, Russia, France)
La Prose du Transsibérien et de la petite Jehanne de France [reprint]
A liberatic work can be a result of a close cooperation between a writer and a visual artist. Prose of the Trans-Siberian and of Little Jehanne of France co-created by the poet Blaise Cendrars and painter Sonia Delaunay can serve as an example of a book that goes beyond the traditional codex. It was printed on a 2,5 meter long leporello in the print run of 150 copies in 1913. A reprint by Yale University Press for the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (2009).
9. B.S. JOHNSON (the UK)
A novel-in-the-box containing unbound leaves and sections of the story by one of the most interesting British writers of the 60’s, a record of the chaotic working of memory and the mind. The 2nd edition published by Picador in 1999.
Nieszczęśni (The Unfortunates)
translated by Katarzyna Bazarnik
A novel-in-the-box containing unbound leaves and sections of the story by one of the most interesting British writers of the 60’s, a record of the chaotic working of memory and the mind. The translation by Katarzyna Bazarnik was distinguished at Wrocław Good Books Fair 2008. Series: Liberature, vol. 5, 2008.
10. MARC SAPORTA (France)
Composition No. 1
An aleatory novel, the first modern book-in-the-box, anticipating the hypertext, tells a story of a man who lost memory and the sense of time in consequence of a car accident. The French original appeared in 1962; this edition was published in the UK by Visual Editions in 2011.
11. HERTA MÜLLER (Germany)
Strażnik bierze swój grzebień. Der Wächter nimmt seinen Kamm
translated by Artur Kożuch
A collection of 94 collage poems published as separate cards in a box, considered one of Nobel-Prize winner Müller’s most original works. The small format and the loose form of the volume correspond with the content of the poems, which originated as postcards sent to friends from her forced exile. The Polish bilingual edition, being the first translation of this work into a foreign language, was published as vol. 15 of “Liberature” line of Korporacja Ha!art in 2010, and closely follows the German edition published in 1993 by Rowohlt Verlag.
12. BOJAN MESERKO (Slovenia)
69; a ti o tem pojma nimas (69; and you have no idea about it)
This book by Slovenian writer, known as “Slovenian Beckett,” contains 69 loose, non-paginated pages with texts printed upside down as if figures on the playing cards. Besides, chance and luck are deeply inscribed in the novel as a randomly selected page has been removed from each copy of the whole print run. This aleatory narrative can be read in as many as 267! possible ways.
13. PAWEŁ DUNAJKO (Poland)
[ . . . ]
This untitled book is a prose poem written on 34 cards placed in a slipcase with cut-out windows in which a movable, potential title may appear, depending on how the reader shuffles the cards. In the words of the author, “it aims to silence the voice and let the writing speak.” Series: Liberature, vol. 13, 2010.
14. RAYMOND QUENEAU (France)
Cent mille milliards de poèmes
The famous “poem generator” by Raymond Queneau, published in 1961, invites the readers to co-create the work of as yet unknown size. Ten sonnets are printed on cardboard cut into separate strips, each containing a separate line so that they can be interchanged, which enables the readers to generate the eponymous one hundred billion poems. As the author calculated, a non-stop reading would take someone “190 258 751 years, plus a few hours and a quarter” to read. The cornerstone of the French group OuLiPo, which combines mathematics and literature.
Sto tysięcy miliardów wierszy (Cent mille milliards de poèmes)
translated by Jan Gondowicz
The famous “poem generator” by Raymond Queneau, published in 1961, invites the readers to co-create the work of as yet unknown size. Ten sonnets are printed on cardboard cut into separate strips, each containing a separate line so that they can be interchanged, which enables the readers to generate the eponymous one hundred billion poems. As the author calculated, a non-stop reading would take someone “190 258 751 years, plus a few hours and a quarter” to read. The cornerstone of the French group OuLiPo, which combines mathematics and literature. Beside English, German and Swedish, Polish is the fourth language into which Queneau’s work has been translated so far. Series: Liberature, vol. 6, 2008.
15. ANDRZEJ BEDNARCZYK (Poland)
Świątynia kamienia / The Temple of Stone
Translated by Barbara Kutryba
This bilingual volume published in 1995 by the Krakow section of Polish Writer’s Association in the edition of 400 copies contains meditative lyrical poetry placed between concrete covers. The well with a piece of rock inside is an integral part of each poem.
16. ZBIGNIEW SAŁAJ (Poland)
Jesienny poemat (Autumn Poem)
An example of liberature and an artist’s book in one, a work that uses the semantics of matter: a poem about transitoriness is printed with fading ink on wooden pages recycled from type cases.
17. HSIA YU (Taiwan)
Hsia Yu is a Taiwanese poet, essayist and playwright, acclaimed as one of the most interesting poetic voices of contemporary Taiwan. She has published four poetry volumes in which the shape of the book and typography constitute additional means of expression, which makes her work akin to liberature. Pink Noise (2007) is an example of liberature exploiting the semantics of matter: the print on transparent pages produces an effect of visual noise.
18. STÉPHANE MALLARMÉ (France)
Rzut kośćmi nigdy nie zniesie przypadku / Un coup de dés jamais n’abolira le hasard Translated by Tomasz Różycki
In the poem The Throw of the Dice Will Never Abolish Chance, overwhelmed by a powerful, though never realised vision of the Book, Stéphane Mallarmé achieved a radical breakthrough in the linearity of literary notation, which was intended to “space out the reading” (the first magazine edition 1897, the posthumous book edition 1914). Prefaced by Michał Paweł Markowski, this bilingual edition is the first Polish publication of the poem that fully reflects the typographic arrangement of both versions of the original (the previous publications ruined its spatial arrangement). Series: Liberature, vol. 3, 2005.
STÉPHANE MALLARMÉ (France)
Un coup de dés jamais n’abolira le hasard
Reprint of the first book edition of the poem, prepared by the poet’s son-in-law according to Mallarmé’s instructions, published in 1914 roku (Gallimard, 2000).
19. ANNE CARSON (Canada)
This concertina-in-a box is a surprising book, escaping generic definitions, but it seems that it meets all the criteria to be recognised as liberature. The author, a Canadian poet and translator of classical literature, herself calls it “an epitaph in the form of a book”, composed of notes, postcards, scraps of letters, her translation of Catullus’s elegy 101 and photographs of her dead brother. New Directions, 2010
20. JONATHAN SAFRAN FOER (USA)
Tree of Codes
A palimpsest story cut out by the American novelist from Bruno Schulz’s The Street of Crocodiles, the English translation of Cinnamon Shops, published by Visual Editions, London, 2010.
21. WILLIAM BLAKE (the UK)
Małżeństwo Nieba & Piekła / The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
Translated by Franek Wygoda
William Blake, a famous romantic poet, printer and illustrator, who designed and printed his books himself, must be definitely seen as one of the precursors of liberature. This is the only Polish edition of Blake so far trying to render the integrity of image and text in the original design, published by Rękodzielnia Arhat, 2002.
22. WILLIAM BLAKE (the UK)
Songs of Innocence and of Experience
Prepared by Oxford University Press (1988), this edition reproduces the format and colours of William Blake’s illuminated volume of poetry printed by him in 1789-1794.
23. WILLIAM H. GASS (USA)
Willie Masters’ Lonesome Wife
Published in 1968, this noveletta by an American postmodernist blurs the boundary between the body of the eponymous woman and the body of the book, integrating into its narrative photographs and over a dozen of different typefaces.
24. LAURENCE STERNE (the UK)
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
First published in 1759 Laurence Sterne’s novel Tristram Shandy is famous for various typographic devices, which can be now described as liberatic, including the notorious marble page (the endpaper used by book-binders to join the pages with the covers) following chapter XXXVI of book III, the black page marking the moment of Reverend Yorick’s death, and the “virtual” chapter XXIV of book IV created by a gap of ten pages allegedly torn off by the author, which is reflected in both the chapter numbering and in the pagination. A contemporary Wordsworth edition of 1996.