congress / events

The Reading Lab: Liberate a book – "liberature" workshops

workshop / interactive

2011-09-09 - 2011-09-10 Four Domes Pavilion

informacje o biletach

photo: Tom Phillips: A Humument / Tetrad Press Edition 1970

Liberature is a new literary genre, created by Zenon Fajfer and Katarzyna Bazarnik, where not only the text, but also the book’s form is the carrier of content. It is a composition of words, typography, graphics and design that goes beyond the already established editorial conventions. What’s a liberary work? For example, a poem edited on a roll of film that is put into a bottle with a label and shape which also have their own meaning. Thus the author’s responsibility for the form of his or her work is the essence of liberature.

This different approach to writing – writing in form – requires a different way of reading. A liberature reader is an interactive receiver of analogue installations. Such a reader must be alert and sensitive also to the non-verbal message, must read using all senses and must take some responsibilities that have been reserved for the author so far.

Katarzyna Bazarnik and Zenon Fajfer will run a cycle of workshops called Liberate a Book. Its participants, divided into small groups of 16 persons, will practise: writing in others’ words, exercising the lipogram and the emanative text, and recycling of realist short stories from the late 19th century.

Friday, September 9th

10.00-13.00 Lipogram: what’s lacking here?


Workshop participants will create their own lipograms. Lipogram is a text written in words that lack a specified letter. This form may provoke into getting involved in a literary game, but it also may carry a more significant message. The absence of a letter becomes the figure of loss or lack, like in La Disparition, the famous book by Georges Perec, where the absence of the letter ‘e’ shows the mysterious disappearance of one of the heroes, and at the same time is a tangible sign of the Holocaust, in which ‘they’, i.e. the author’s parents, disappeared (the letter ‘e’ is pronounced in French just as that pronoun).

15.00-18.00 Collage: try to write in others’ words

Workshop participants will create new collage techniques and discuss the already existing ones, encountered in the 20th century literature, contemporary advertising or websites. How does such a form contribute to the content?

Saturday, September 10th

10.00-13.00 Liberary recycling: what lies hidden in the subtext?


Participants will recycle realist short stories from the late 19th century and create out of them their own narrations. Here are some examples: A Humument by Tom Phillips (transformed Victorian novel A Human Document), Tree of Codes by Jonathan Safran Foer (prepared out of the Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz), Nets by Jen Bervin (poems ‘made of’ Shakespeare’s sonnets), Writing Through Finnegans Wake by John Cage (transcription of Joyce’s prose), A Necrophile’s Limerick by Zenon Fajfer (overwriting of a funeral limerick by Wisława Szymborska).

15.00-18.00 Emanative text: journey to the inside of the word

An emanative text – one of Zenon Fajfer’s most preferred forms – was used for the first time in the liberary books written by the tandem Fajfer-Bazarnik, first in the trilogy Mute-I-Late, then in Ga(u)ze. The very name refers to the structure and the way the text is being created as an emanation of a single word. This form opens literature to a new dimension by generating an invisible text that breaks up linearity and gives the opportunity to encode a secret message. During the workshops the trainers will demonstrate what the emanative writing looks like and what is the objective of such a writing.

Liberary smorgasbord

Workshop participants and all visitors of the Reading Room will have at their disposal a liberary smorgasbord and a liberary mini-reading room where everybody will have a chance to read unconventional books we rarely meet in our everyday life.

Recruitment to workshops

Registration process closed.

Partner of the project: lubimyczytac.pl