Liberature

The artist’s book emerged in the early decades of the twentieth century in consequence of avant-garde experimentation with the visual qualities of writing, typography and layout, different ways of combining text and image, as well as the form of the book itself. Drawing upon this tradition in the context of the major innovative writings of James Joyce, Kasia Bazarnik–in her new book, James Joyce & Liberature (Prague: Litteraria Pragensia, 2011)–proposes that Joyce’s work comprises a new literary genre between voice and writing, word and image, ideal and real, abstract and material in the iconic sign of the book, which appears to the reader as a “verbivocovisual polyhedron of scripture.” This new genre is called liberature–a term explored in detail in two essays of the same name by Bazarnik and her long-term collaborator Zenon Fejfer in VLAK 2. An interview with Bazarnik and Fajfer–“The Liberating Bond: An Interview with Katarzyna Bazarnik & Zenon Fajfer“–recently appeared on the FSCB blog.

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