Text: the book by Zenon Fajfer and Katarzyna Bazarnik which triggered the liberatura movement in Poland, in Polish and some English, text printed in handwriting and different typefaces, emanational texts and sign-poems, hardcover, triple dos-à-dos binding, black and white offset print on coated glossy paper, numbered trade edition of 1001 copies, 5.6 x 7.8 inches.$50
Text: poem by Katarzyna Bazarnik and Zenon Fajfer, in Polish, black and white print, contains text printed in handwriting and different typefaces, emanational texts, the right top corner of the front cover is deliberately torn off and inserted in the book, 1st edition of 2000 copies, offset print, 6.3 x 9.3 inches, $50
Text: Zenon Fajfer, translated into English by Katarzyna Bazarnik (the poem “Ars Poetica” with Zenon Fajfer, the poem “DOWN” with Zenon Fajfer and Finn Fordham), series: Liberature, vol. 10-11, Krakow: Korporacja Ha!art Publishers, contains folded and uncut pages and DVD with the kinetic poem “Primum Mobile”, bilingual tête-bêche, offset print, edition 1000, last copies. $200
Text: Zenon Fajfer, series: Liberature, vol. 2, Krakow: Korporacja Ha!art Publishers, 2nd corrected edition of 500 copies, laser printed transparent film 8.3 x 11.7 inches, bottle 10 inches high, 2.4 inches diameter, box 10.1 x 3.1 x 2.5 inches. $100 (in Polish)
Text: Zenon Fajfer, edited and translated by Katarzyna Bazarnik, contains foreword by Wojciech Kalaga and 3 articles on liberature by Katarzyna Bazarnik, Agnieszka Przybyszewska, Lukasz Jezyk, series: Liberature, vol. 12, Krakow: Korporacja Ha!art Publishers, bilingual tête-bêche 2 x 187 pages and 10 pages of bibliography, offset print, book trimmed to trapezium with one right angle, 9.1 x 6.1 x 5.6 x 9 inches, edition 1000. last copies. $60
Text: Bryan Stanley Johnson, trans. into Polish by Katarzyna Bazarnik, series: Liberature, vol. 5, Krakow: Korporacja Ha!art Publishers, series editors: Katarzyna Bazarnik and Zenon Fajfer, a novel-in-the-box containing 27 unbound sections from one to several pages long and the publisher’s introduction, awarded the Best Book of the Year distinction at Wroclaw Good Books Fair, offset print, 8.1 x 5.4 inches, edition 1000. $50
Text and images: Herta Müller, bilingual edition, trans. by Artur Kozuch, contains 96 cards with prints of collage poems in German, with Polish translations of the texts in iconic typography on the reverse, series: Liberature, vol. 15, Krakow: Korporacja Ha!art Publishers, series editors: Katarzyna Bazarnik and Zenon Fajfer, offset print, 6.2 x 4.4 x 1.4 inches, edition 2000, $100
Rzut koscmi nigdy nie zniesie przypadku / Un coup de dés jamais n’abolira le hasard, 2005
Text: a bilingual, French-Polish edition of Stephane Mallarme’s poem reproduces its two versions: the one published in magazine Cosmopolis (1897), and the book version of 1914, with Polish translations by an acclaimed poet Tomasz Różycki, the layout reproduces the original typography, series: Liberature, vol. 3, Krakow: Korporacja Ha!art Publishers, 2005,series editors: Katarzyna Bazarnik and Zenon Fajfer, offset print, codex 11.4 x 8.1 x 0.4 inches, print run of 1000, last copy $200
Text and layout: Raymond Federman’s Double or Nothing, the novel by one of the leading American postmodernists translated into Polish by Jerzy Kutnik. It converges four streams of discourse to tell (and hide) a story of a Holocaust survivor arriving in America. The edition reproduces the authorial typewritten typography of the novel’s first edition. Series: Liberature, vol. 16, Krakow: Korporacja Ha!art Publishers, 2010, series editors: Katarzyna Bazarnik and Zenon Fajfer, offset print, edition 1000, codex, 7 x 10 x 0.7 inches. $40
Text: the first monograph issue of a magazine on contemporary literature and culture, devoted to liberature, the layout designed in collaboration with Zenon Fajfer (the image on the cover is his sign-poem, made of the letters ZENKASI, the artistic penname of the creators of liberature), including the first reviews of the prototype edition of Oka-leczenie, and an interview with Katarzyna Bazarik and Zenon Fajfer. Issued and sold together with (O)patrzenie, their liberatic poetry book initiating “Liberatura,” an imprint of Korporacja Ha!art Publishing House; issue no 15 year 2003, print run of 2000, 11.6 x 8.3 inches. $20
Text: a monograph issue of a magazine on contemporary literature and culture, devoted to liberature, prepared to celebrate ten years’ anniversary of its appearance, the layout designed by an award-winning Polish artist Jakub Woynarowski; includes Zenon Fajfer’s cycle of poems “Illuminations”, Wei-Yun Lin-Gorecka’s poems in Chinese, English and Polish, Dante Fajfer’s story-art “Hamlet in Lego blocks”, and Jakub Woynarowski’s story-art “Hikikomori”, issue no 30 year 2010, edition of 1500, 11 x 8.3 x 0.5 inches. $20
Music, text, design: an album by a Polish rock band ///moonboys (read as ‘three moon boys’), including Marcin Karnowski, Wojtek Kotwicki, Piotr Michalski, and Miłosz Runge), combining liberature and music; the sleeve and the surface of the compact disk designed by Zenon Fajfer form a meaningful unity, the sleeve is simultaneously Fajfer’s visual poem (W)hole. Each copy of the sleeve has a manually burnt hole in the center. One CD included, the other is to be burnt individually from the band’s website if the listener likes their music. Recorded in ElectricEye Studio by Kapsa Bros. & Mozg Studio. Year of production 2009, size of the double sleeve 4.9 x 4.9 x 0.2 inches
There are literary works in which the poet or writer shapes not only the verbal medium, but also the book as a whole. In them a drawing or a blank page have the power of a poetic metaphor, and typography is elevated to the status of a stylistic device. The material volume ceases to be a neutral container for a story or a collection of poems, but becomes an integral component of the literary work, deliberately shaped by the author. This kind of literature is called LIBERATURE, or literature in the form of the book (from Latin liber meaning ‘book’ and ‘free’)—the term proposed in 1999 by Polish poet Zenon Fajfer. The first book referred to as liberature was his Oka-leczenie (Mute-I-Late), authored together with Katarzyna Bazarnik, printed in 9 prototype copies in 2000. It owns its unconventional shape to two different narratives, separated by the middle volume containing a movement of lyrical meditation, and yet connected by an invisible narrative thread. Because beside visible dialogues, Oka-leczenie contains invisible, fractal-like texts, written in the emanational technique specially devised by Fajfer to render liminal experiences: the inaccessible stream of consciousness of a dying man, and an invisible world of the unborn baby. Readers can decide if they wish to uncover the invisible texts, or if they read only the surface text—each way makes for a different experience and a different story. With their second book, (O)patrzenie, Fajfer and Bazarnik launched an imprint called ‘Liberature’ in Korporacja Ha!art Publishing House. The works listed here are all published as part of this unique editorial project, presenting contemporary liberature and its antecedents creating in the same poetics.
Katarzyna Bazarnik and Zenon Fajfer are a Polish couple of creators and theoreticians of liberature, the authors of jointly written books Oka-leczenie and (O)patrzenie, which initiated the Liberatura movement; the editors of “Liberature” line in Ha!art publishing house, and founders of Liberature Reading Room in Krakow, Poland. In 1999 Fajfer published the manifesto-essay “Liberature. An Appendix to the Dictionary of Literary Terms” in a journal Dekada Literacka. In it he proposed the idea that has not only triggered off an important trend in Polish literature, but has also provided scholars with a useful tool to analyze unconventional literary works. The concept entered the academic discourse, not least due to Bazarnik’s theoretical work. She edited volumes of essays on the subject: Od Joyce’a do liberatury (2002), Fajfer’s Liberature or Total Literature Collected Essays 1999-2009 (2010), and Incarnations of Textual Materiality: from Modernism to Liberature (2014) as well wrote Joyce and Liberature (2011). Presently she works as an adjunct professor of English literature and literary theory at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, while Fajfer focuses on poetry writing and theatre work. His work has been recognized as one of the most original voices in Polish contemporary poetry, and his bottle-book Spogladajac Przez Ozonowa Dziure (Detect Ozone Whole Nearby, 2004) was suggested as required reading for high school students. He introduced an original, interactive form called “the emanational poem,” in which he simultaneously creates invisible, dimensions of text. He also uses the new media, creating kinetic poems and hypertextual poetry, especially in the bilingual liberatic poetry volume dwadzieścia jeden liter / ten letters (2010), and Powieki (Eyelids; 2013). Fajfer’s “staging” of his poems may be rooted in his theatre work. He devised and directed three plays: Madam Eva, Ave Madam (with disabled, wheel-chaired actors, 1992), Finnegans Make (an adaptation of Joyce’s works, 1997), and Pieta (another multilayered narrative, featuring the emanational, kinetic version of his bottle-book poem DOWN, 2006-2012). The couple has given numerous readings, presentations and exhibitions of their work all over the world, including the USA, Japan, Taiwan, the UK, Ireland, France, Italy, and the Balkans.