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"Innovative Literary Printing" Exhibition at Morris Library


    The University of Delaware Library announces the exhibition, “Innovative Literary Printing,” on view in the Morris Library Information Room from Monday, July 16, 2007, through Friday, September 21, 2007.  The exhibition presents various examples of typographic forms used towards literary ends.  While the reputation of the avant-garde is as a purely modern creation, there is a tradition which goes back to the ancient Greeks of “shape poetry,” and examples abound in the Elizabethan era. Well-known practitioners include Guillaume Apollinaire, John Hollander and E.E. Cummings, and their works are displayed.  The contemporary “language” poets, such as with their focus on the way a poem looks on a page, have been highly influenced by this earlier work.  The curator of the exhibition is Jesse Rossa, Senior Assistant Librarian, Special Collections Department.

    Innovative type designs have also been used in novels, and not just in modern times. Laurence Sterne’s eighteenth-century novel Tristam Shandy is an early example. With the advent of computer-aided typesetting, complex modern visions, many influenced by the Internet, have appeared, such as the dizzying novels of Mark Z. Danielewski.  The exhibition portrays their position as the most recent of a long tradition.

    Outlining the history of innovative typography used in literature, the exhibition will open a door into an interesting and alternative aspect of literary expression.

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