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As a consequence of technological developments, the printed codex has become the most widespread form used to accommodate literary works. As it is the staple form of the book, its bibliographical code has become practically invisible. Moreover, today, due to the digital revolution, the printed codex is but one of the forms in which traditionally conceived literary texts can be distributed. However, ‘liberature’ is a literary genre that draws the reader’s attention to the book because it recognises and utilises the semantic potential of the material carrier of writing. The liberatic work integrates the materiality and visuality of the printed book into the writerly repertoire in such a way that the material book becomes a complex, multimodal sign. It also functions as a navigational tool for reading.

This chapter offers a tentative typology of ways in which liberatic writers make use of latent semantic affordances of the book. The three major interventions in the (traditional) codex form include (re)arrangements, structural modifications and material modifications. Consequently, books modified in these ways can be called ‘enhanced codices’. In such works, the typically transparent space of the book becomes an enhanced space of literary communication. In addition, liberature embraces non-codexical forms such as the scroll or the accordion (leporello), ‘the shuffle book’ or ‘book-in-the-box’. Finally, it may be argued that augmented reality (ar) books should be included in this typology.

In: Refresh the Book
On the Hybrid Nature of the Book in the Age of Electronic Publishing
Refresh the Book contains reflections on the multimodal nature of the book, focusing on its changing perception, functions, forms, and potential in the digital age. Offering an overview of key concepts and approaches, such as liberature, technotexts, and bookishness, this volume of essays addresses the specificity of the printed book as a complex cultural phenomenon. It discusses diverse forms of representation and expression, both in literary and non-literary texts, as well as in artist’s books. Of special interest are these aspects of the book which resist remediation into the digital form. Finally, the volume contains an extensive section devoted to artistic practice as research, discussing the book as the synthesis of the arts, and site for performative aesthetic activity.

Christin Barbarino, Katarzyna Bazarnik, Christoph Bläsi, Sarah Bodman, Zenon Fajfer, Annette Gilbert, Susanne Gramatzki, Mareike Herbstreit, Viola Hildebrand-Schat, Thomas Hvid Kromann, Monika Jäger, Eva Linhart, Bettina Lockemann, Patrizia Meinert, Bernhard Metz, Sebastian Schmideler, Monika Schmitz-Emans, Christoph Benjamin Schulz, usus (Uta Schneider & Ulrike Stoltz), Anne Thurmann-Jajes, Sakine Weikert, Gabriele Wix
In: Refresh the Book
In: Refresh the Book