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LIBERATURE
Photo courtesy of Katarzyna Bazarnik and Zenon Fajfer

Katarzyna Bazarnik (b. 1970) is an assistant professor at the Institute of English Philology of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. She has published on James Joyce, B.S. Johnson, and avant-garde writing, as well as literary translation; she has edited or co-edited several volumes of essays, including Wokol Jamesa Joyce'a (Around James Joyce, 1998), Od Joyce'a do liberatury (From Joyce to Liberature, 2002), James Joyce and After. Writer and Time (2010). Her Joyce and Liberature has just appeared in Litteraria Pragensia. Her theoretical work on liberature as a new literary genre integrating the verbal content with the material shape of the book introduced the concept to the academic world. She is also a translator, and co-author of liberature books: a triple-volume Oka-leczenie (Mute-I-Late, prototype edition 2000, 1st ed. 2009) and (O)patrzenie (Ga(u)ze, 2003) written jointly with her husband, Zenon Fajfer. Together they run the Liberature Reading Room in Malopolski Institute of Culture in Kraków, and edit the "Liberatura" series of Korporacja Ha!art Publishing House, a unique editorial project promoting the genre. Beside works by Bazarnik-Fajfer duo and other Polish writers using the poetics of liberature, the series features Polish translations of Stéphane Mallarmé's The Throw of the Dice Will Never Abolish Chance, Raymond Queneau's One Hundred Thousand Billion Poems, Georges Perec's Life: A User's Manual, B.S. Johnson's novel-in-the-box The Unfortunates, Raymond Fedeman's Double or Nothing, and the first translation ever of Herta Müller's box of poetic collages Der Wächter nimmt seinen Kamm.


Zenon Fajfer (b. 1970) is a Polish poet, theatre artist, as well as creator and theoretician of "Liberature," a new literary genre in which writers exploit both language and the material form of the book, shaping it as they shape style, plot or poetic meter. Fajfer treats the book not as a transparent container of text but an integral component of the literary work, deliberately designed by the writer, so each of his books has a form peculiar to itself, which breaks editorial conventions. His work is characterised not only by an exploration of the materiality and spatiality of the book but also a drive to create new dimensions through language. In consequence he developed a new poetic form that he termed "the emanational poem." It consists in a verbal structure containing several invisible layers of text, simultaneously existing inside the visible poem. It is up to the reader if the hidden message will be uncovered, which gives his poems an interactive quality. His works include: a triple-volume Oka-leczenie (Mute-I-Late, prototype edition 2000, 1st ed. 2009) and (O)patrzenie (Ga(u)ze, 2003), written jointly with his wife Katarzyna Bazarnik, and individual works: a bottle-book Spogladajac Przez Ozonowa Dziure (But Eyeing Like Ozone Whole) (trans. K. Bartnicki, 2004) and a bilingual liberatic poetry volume dwadziescia jeden liter/ten letters (trans. K. Bazarnik, 2010), combining the printed and electronic texts. His articles and manifestoes are gathered in Liberature or Total Literature. Collected Essays 1999-2009 published in 2010.
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