Briefer mention* TEXT AS A FIGURE An exhibition which no typography enthusiast should have missed was 'Text als Figur. Visuelle Poesie von der Antike bis zur Moderne', held from 1 September 1987 to 17 April 1988. It was organised by the Herzog August Library in Wolfen- buttel, FRG. Texts in which the content is not only determined by the words them- selves but also by the shape date from further back than most people would think. The first good examples can be found amongst the Greek bucolic poets (third cen- tury B.C.) and also in texts from Roman times and the early Christian Middle Ages. The genre was revived when Greek poetry came to be printed from the end of the fifteenth century onwards, especially in France amongst the Pleiade poets. As soon as the genre had been firmly established, there was no chance of it disappearing-texts in the shape of a person, an animal, from birds to horses, foun- tains and labyrinths crop up everywhere. It is interesting to see the extension of this in our time, as expressed by Apollinaire, the surrealists and visual poetry. All this can be enjoyed and studied in the thorough and
Quaerendo – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1990
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