OEI # 90-91: SICKLE OF SYNTAX and HAMMER OF TAUTOLOGY: CONCRETE AND VISUAL POETRY IN YUGOSLAVIA 1968-1983 edited by Sezgin Boynik
195 x 300mm, 304 pages, full colour printing, perfect bound, 2021
OEI # 90-91: Sickle of Syntax & Hammer of Tautology offers the first English language overview of the history of concrete and visual poetry production in socialist Yugoslavia between 1968 and 1983. By focusing on mass-produced examples of concrete poetry, this publication presents these poetic experiments as organically linked to social movements, critical theories, and youth cultural revolutions. In his extensive introduction, Sezgin Boynik, the guest editor of this special issue of OEI, discusses concrete and visual poetry in socialist Yugo-slavia as an uneven and combined development, and emphasizes its confrontational and organizational aspects. By means of interviews, translations, reproductions, and theoretical and historical statements, OEI # 90-91 offers a picture of a very lively scene of concrete and visual poetry in Yugoslavia, which unfortunately is not as recognized interna-tionally as it would deserve. Hoping that OEI # 90-91 could contribute to this task in a substantial way, we present episodes from the early years of OHO formation and its complex theories of words and things; an interview with Rastko Močnik on programmed art and political formalism; militant polemics of Goran Babić; Signalist contradictions; subjective structural devices of Judita Šalgo; zaum experiments of Vojislav Despotov; detective meta-texts of Slavoj Žižek; historicisation of Ažin school for experimental poetry; democratisation of visual poetry by Westeast; selections from special issues of the journals Pitanja, Problemi, Ulaznica, Dometi, Delo, Koraci, Vidik, Pegaz, and many other materials translated here for the first time and presented in one publication.