Reading: How Many Pages in a Single Word: Alternative Typo-poetics of Surrealist Magazines

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How Many Pages in a Single Word: Alternative Typo-poetics of Surrealist Magazines

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Biljana Andonovska

NL
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Abstract

The paper examines the experimental design, typography and editorial strategies of the rare avant-garde publication Four Pages - Onanism of Death - And So On (1930), published by Oskar Davičo, Đorđe Kostić and Đorđe Jovanović, probably the first Surrealist Edition of the Belgrade surrealist group. Starting from its unconventional format and the way authors (re)shape and (mis)direct each page in an autonomous fashion, I further analyze the intrinsic interaction between the text, its graphic embodiment and surrounding para-textual elements (illustrations, body text, titles, folding, dating, margins, comments). Special attention is given to the concepts of depersonalization, free association and automatic writing as primary poetical sources for the delinearisation of the reading process and 'emancipation' of the text, its content and syntax as well as its position, direction, and visual materiality on the page. Resisting conventional classifications and simplified distinctions between established print media and genres, this surrealist single-issue placard magazine mixes elements of the poster, magazine, and booklet. Its ambiguous nature leads us toward theoretical discussion of the avant-garde magazine as an autonomous literary genre and original, self-sufficient artwork, as was already suggested by the theory of Russian formalism.

DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/ts.263
How to Cite: Andonovska, B., (2013). How Many Pages in a Single Word: Alternative Typo-poetics of Surrealist Magazines. Tijdschrift voor Tijdschriftstudies. (33), pp.5–17. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/ts.263
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Published on 11 Jul 2013.
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