Book Design as Literary Strategy: Aka Morchiladze’s Novel Santa Esperanza and Its Poetics of Playful Storytelling

  • Monika Schmitz-Emans
Part of the New Directions in Book History book series (NDBH)


Asking how contemporary book fictions play with the materiality of the codex to reflect on the cultural work of literature, Monika Schmitz-Emans approaches the topic from the perspective of comparative literature and takes as her test case the novel Santa Esperanza by the Georgian author Aka Morchiladze. Schmitz-Emans situates Morchiladze’s experiment with book design and narrative order in a broad history of (mostly) European book art and avant-garde literature that uses constraints, combinatory aesthetics, or gaming strategies. Her analysis elucidates how the material form and visual layout of a literary text can contribute substantially to the building of a fictitious world—and at the same time serve the self-referential purpose of reflecting on the cultural relevance of literary fiction.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Monika Schmitz-Emans
    • 1
  1. 1.Allgemeine und Vergleichende LiteraturwissenschaftRuhr-University BochumBochumGermany

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