1st Edition

Subversion and Conformity of Literary Collage Between Cut and Glue

Edited By Magda Dragu Copyright 2024
    148 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Subversion and Conformity of Literary Collage: Between Cut and Glue fills a gap in the current scholarship on literary collage, by addressing how different the interpretations of the concept are, depending on the author who uses the concept and the material and writers surveyed. The book studies writers who employed literary collage during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, some whose works have been intensely analyzed from this perspective (William S. Burroughs and Walter Benjamin), but also some whose collage-writing style has recently been investigated by writers, being usually placed under the umbrella term of artist books (Stelio Maria Martini).


    List of Figures

    List of Contributors




    1. The Long History of Collage: from Early Modern Commonplace Books to Twenty-First-Century Experimental Writing, David Banash

    2. ‘Little Forms’ of the Avant-Garde: Walter Benjamin’s Einbahnstraße (One-Way Street, 1928) Sofia Cumming

    3. Weaponizing the Cut: William S. Burroughs’s Transmedial Experiments Benjamin J. Heal

    4.“Un’appendice sensibile del cervello”: Stelio Maria Martini’s Collage between Neurosis and Sensitivity Dalila Colucci

    5. Collage and Late Style Wojciech Drąg

    6. “A heuristic of thought itself” – Montage, Writing, Method Heath Valentine

    7. Collage with Words and Images or the Empiricist Turn in the Arts Magda Dragu




    Magda Dragu is a scholar of modernism and the arts. She wrote on various topics in comparative arts (illuminated manuscripts, musicalized fictions and musicalized pictures, and artists with multiple talents). She published the volume Form and Meaning in Avant-Garde Collage and Montage (Routledge, 2020) and co-edited Adaptation and Convergence of Media. ‘High’ Culture Intermediality versus Popular Culture Intermediality (2019). She is also a technical writer at R.E.I. Development Services, Bucharest.

    Engaging and perceptive, the studies in Subversion and Conformity of Literary Collage explore the longer history of literary collage, from commonplacing and scrapbooking to postmodern remix culture. Proposing informed readings of verbal collage in the works of Benjamin, Burroughs and others – as a transmedial practice or the equivalent of cinematic montage techniques, in the context of logical empiricist thought or linked to the concept of late style – this book opens up new perspectives in the field of collage.

    --Elza Adamowicz, Professor Emerita of French Literature and Visual Culture, Queen Mary University of London, UK


    Subversion and Conformity of Literary Collage: Between Cut and Glue advances our understanding of the concept of literary collage by describing its history through rigorous case studies ranging from the early-modern period to postmodern developments. By covering the history of the notion beyond the familiar modernist and avantgarde avatars the volume provides an extended and enriched understanding of literary collage and of its various forms, uses and functions. It thus contributes significantly towards a more comprehensive definition of this complex and elusive phenomenon.

     --Timo Kaitaro, Adjunct professor, University of Helsinki, Finland