Zenon Fajfer’s EYELIDS_Book of Emanations

Description (in English): 

Powieki (eng. “eyelids”, also a pun on “forever”) is one of the crucial examples of Polish electronic poetry, authored by Zenon Fajfer, a contemporary Polish avant-garde poet, and creator of liberature, a literary genre integrating text and the material shape of the book (http://techsty.art.pl/powieki/). His volume of poetry is both in the form of the printed book and the accompanying CD included at the end of the volume; its on-line version premiered a year later (Szczecin: Forma, 2013). Fajfer introduced into poetry an original, interactive form called “the emanational poem,” in which he creates invisible, simultaneously coexisting dimensions of text that can be actualized in their kinetic (electronic) versions. Powieki is a multimodal cycle of such emanational poems. This textual labyrinth can be entered through different entrances and explored upwards, downwards, left and right to discover passages and openings unavailable in its printed form. Densely hyperlinked and granting the readers considerable freedom, this digital collection of poems invites contemplation, fostering “slow” reading, exemplifying Jessica Pressman’s argument presented in Digital Modernism. As Mariusz Pisarski stresses in his review of the work, it is “an oasis of zen in the world of hysterical discourses, offering us a verbal therapy on the liberatic couch, the more valuable as it is carried out by the same liquid crystal display that usually attacks us with its chaotic scream.” According to the critic, using all types of hyperlinks, Powieki constitutes an almost optimal kind of hypertext. During the reading Zenon Fajfer will present one possible passage through Powieki/Eyelids on the screen, accompanied by the voice-over giving the English versions of the poems in Katarzyna Bazarnik’s translation. To demonstrate the intricate, emanational, i.e. multi-levelled acrostic structure of the original a sample poem in English will be also presented to the audience in “Ars Poetica” http://www.techsty.art.pl/magazyn3/fajfer/Ars_poetica_english.html (source: ELO 2015 Catalog)

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Hannah Ackermans