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    Autopoetics: Hansjörg Mayer's titles of the nineteen-sixties

    Ferran, Bronac (2023) Autopoetics: Hansjörg Mayer's titles of the nineteen-sixties. PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.


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    This is the first detailed study of Anglo-German poet, typographer, editor and publisher Hansjörg Mayer. It addresses a lacuna in scholarly discourse in exploring Mayer’s contribution to the under-developed scholarship of concrete poetry and experimental literature at the intersection with graphic design and typography in the sixties. Reflecting on Mayer’s contribution to a nexus of exchange between poets and theorists in São Paulo and Stuttgart, it counters a significant gap in this literature with respect to post-war German-language concrete poetry, beyond a dominant discourse on Swiss-related practices. It opens up new understanding of Mayer’s use of type and print as a medium, during a period of shift from hot metal type to light-based processes. Showing how Mayer’s corpus made visible a contiguity of signs within this context, it reflects on his use of the line and circle (or one and zero) of the ‘Futura’ typeface as an intermediary graphic notation that anticipated digital binary encoding. It brings new insights into extraordinary patterns of overprinting in Mayer’s solo and semi-autonomous titles, that have up to now had no critical attention, situating these as key steps in a lineage of generative text production in which linear, multi-linear and nonlinear tendencies became newly visible. It observes also the migration of influences between concrete and experimental poems of the fifties and sixties and early ‘artists’ publications’ pioneered by Mayer in titles with Dieter Rot and Emmett Williams from the mid-sixties onwards. Advancing the concept of ‘autopoetics’ as fitting closely with Mayer’s oeuvre, this thesis offers the first close reading of a wide spectrum of his titles of the sixties. In so doing, it makes a new contribution to scholarly knowledge in literature and media studies.


    Item Type: Thesis
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 11 May 2023 14:13
    Last Modified: 01 Nov 2023 16:09


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