Original Research

De miskenning van Theo van Doesburg; zijn bijdrage tot de ontwikkeling van de konkrete poëzie

J. van der Elst
Literator | Vol 8, No 1 | a856 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v8i1.856 | © 1987 J. van der Elst | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 May 1987 | Published: 07 May 1987

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J. van der Elst,, South Africa

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Abstract

More literary critics outside Belgium and the Netherlands have written about Theo van Doesburg than from inside these countries. The first important monograph on him appeared in English - Theo van Doesburg - Propagandist and Practitioner of the Avant-Garde, 1909-1923, by Hannah Hedrick. Van Doesburg’s poetry developed in the direction of concrete poetry - the type of poetry in which the spatial, acoustic and visual characteristics of language are maximally utilized towards the creation of the poem. Word as sound and as image is foregrounded in concrete poetry, while the imaging of persons and subjective experience is eliminated as far as possible. The anecdotal or the epic component of the concrete poem is minimal and the language of this sort of poem has been reduced to the minimum. In the spirit of the theory of concrete poetry Van Doesburg advocates the liberation of art from all the commitments imposed upon it. That with which Van Doesburg began was continued by other poets, especially in Germanic literature by poets of the so-called neo-realism.

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