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Tim Klähn

E-Mail: klaehn [at] grako-schrift.fu-berlin.de


Ph.D. Project

"Visual Aspects of Writing in Contemporary Russian Poetry"



In my dissertation, I will investigate the visual aspects of writing in contemporary Russian poetry from the early samizdat up to now. My main sources will be poetic texts, that are explicitly recurring to writing practices and writing-theoretical considerations of the historical Russian avant-garde (Russian Futurism, Russian Formalism, Constructivism, OBERIU etc.) and/or the Western neo-avant-garde (Oulipo, Fluxus, L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry etc.), as, for instance, works by Al’chuk, Avaliani, Barskii, Biriukov, Gornon, Mnatsakanova, Nikonova, Scherstianoi, Sigei, to name a few. Additionally, however, I will also take into consideration poetic texts which do not comply to a narrow understanding of the term ‘visual poetry’, but display themselves simultaneously as visible writing artefacts and readable verbal-linguistic text notations (e.g. texts by Aigi, Sen Sen’kov, Sosnora or Zav’jalov).

The contextualization and analysis of the primary texts will serve as a basis for the exploration of a number of media- and writing-theoretical questions. Special attention will be devoted to the texture and the facture (“faktura”) of the respective texts. Texture, on the one hand, refers to mainly text-oriented textual operations, e.g. permutative and combinatorical writing practices (anagrams, palindromes etc.) or structuring methods such as punctuation, change of type faces, footnotes, use of empty spaces, diacritical characters, numbers, mathematical formulas etc. Faktura, on the other hand (a term coined by the Russian Futurists and Formalists), focuses on the aesthetically perceptible material quality of the respective writing artefacts, e.g. traces of performative writing gestures in handwritten texts, the interaction of graphematic and graphic lineatures, colors, haptic qualities, deletions, overwriting-/typing, intermedial hybrid forms, artists’ books etc.


Curriculum Vitae

Since 10/2008

Doctoral Scholarship at the DFG Research Training Group 1458 “’Notational Iconicity’: On the materiality, perceptibility and operativity of writing”, Free University, Berlin

Since 07/2008

Doctoral Student, Department of Comparative Literature at Free University, Berlin; Dissertation Project: “Visual Aspects of Contemporary Russian Poetry”


Archival Research in the United States and Canada & Public Relations Work for a Cultural Organization


M.A. Degree, Humboldt-University, Berlin; Title of Master’s Thesis: “Russian Avant-Garde Poetry and Book-Art”


Grant from the Humboldt-University, Berlin, for Studies at the Russian State University for the Humanities (RGGU) & Archival Research (RGALI, Mayakovsky Museum etc.), Moscow


Russian, English and German Studies, Humboldt-University, Berlin


Studies at the Saint Petersburg State University


Slavic, English and German Studies, Albert-Ludwigs-University, Freiburg


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