Liberature. A Book-bound Genre discusses the concept, proposed by the Polish poet Zenon Fajfer in 1999, which refers to the kind of writing fusing text with its material form into a conceptual whole in the space of the book. In her monograph, described by the author as “the fruit of miscegenation between a scholar and a creative writer,” Katarzyna Bazarnik explains how liberature is indebted to modernist explorations of the materiality of writing pointed out by Jerome McGann, as well as practices of “presentification” described by Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht. She flags affinities between liberature and related concepts: N. Katherine Hayles’s technotexts, Jessica Pressman’s bookishness, Lori Emerson’s readingwriting interfaces, and Alison Gibbons’ analyses of multimodal literature. Finally, reading liberature through contemporary genre theory, she proposes to see it as a multimodal, literary genre bound to the architecture of the material book.
Katarzyna Bazarnik is assistant professor at the Institute of English Studies of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. She has published Joyce and Liberature (2011), edited and co-edited several volumes of essays including James Joyce and After: Writer and Time (2010), Liberature or Total Literature: Collected Essays 1999–2009 (2010), Incarnations of Material Textuality. From Modernism to Liberature (2014), and co-authored liberatic books: a triplevolume Oka-leczenie (Mute-I-Late, 2000) and (O)patrzenie (Ga(u)ze, 2003) written jointly with Zenon Fajfer. Together they curate Liberature Reading Room in the Main Public Library in Krakow and edit an imprint called Liberatura in Ha!art +Publishing House.