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A Suprematist Tale of Two Squares in 6 Constructions by El Lissitzky | 13-Dec-15

Our Library Assisant Ben Nichols is leaving us and as we wish him a fond farewell here is his staff pick from this year's Poetry Library Open Day. This year's Open Day was on the theme of The End of the Poem.

A Suprematist Tale of Two Squares in 6 Constructions by El Lissitzky, translated by Christina Lodder -- London: Tate Publishing, 2014.

I often feel that life would be easier if people could relate to each other like geometric shapes. Instead of friction, we'd have something more like tessellation. This is probably why I like this recent reprint of a children's book by early-twentieth-century Russian avant-gardist El Lissitzky.

First published in 1922, it shows and tells us a curious tale of two revolutionary squares scattering and reconfiguring the world's building blocks. Also, in keeping with the theme of this year's Open Day, it's not really poetry in any conventional or familiar sense. In its play with typography, though, it bears resemblance to later twentieth-century concrete poetry. Visually, too, it fits nicely alongside a number of artists' books in the Poetry Library collection.

Ben Nichols
Library Assistant

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