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De Tafelronde and G 58: the poet and the painter Born in 1909 (the year of Marinetti’s famous Futurist manifesto), Paul De Vree hailed from an older generation than Verheyen. At the time the two met, De Vree had a rich career behind him as a literary critic, poet and publisher. Through his role in journals such as Vormen (Forms) (1936 – 40) and, above all, De Tafelronde (1953 – 81), this versatile and active author had become a figurehead (albeit a controversial one) in Flemish modern circles. Around the time that De Vree sought an affiliation with the visual avantgarde of the late 1950s, his own Modernist poetics, which he had been using since the 1930s, were evolving towards a more explicitly textual and visual experiment. The period of his collaboration with Jef Verheyen saw this development accelerate. De Vree published the experimental poetry collections Egelrond (Hedgehog-ring) (1957), Grondbeeldig (Fundamental Imaging) (1960), Pl.acid.amore (1963) and H.eros.hima (1965). With the “mechanical poems” in the Explositieven (Explositives) collection (1966), created by constantly turning the sheet of paper round in the typewriter, he took the definitive step towards concrete poetry, which ultimately evolved into visual poetry with Zimprovisaties (Zimprovisations) (1968) and Poëzien (Poevision) (1971). During that period, De Vree not only sought contact with historical avant-garde “pioneers” from the interwar period (he was in touch with Raoul Haussman, for example), but also with international neo-avantgarde figures such as Henri Chopin. They set him on the track of sound poetry, among other areas. The development of the journal De Tafelronde, in which De Vree was involved from start (1953) to finish (1981), runs astonishingly parallel to his own poetic development. While a fusion of tradition and experimentation still prevailed in the first three years, experimental poetry was the dominant theme from year four onwards (1957). In that period, De Vree took over the role of editorial secretary from Ivo Michiels and largely determined the journal’s editorial policy. For example, a greater affiliation with the visual arts was sought. As shown above, from 1950 onwards Verheyen had formed part of the complex pattern of Antwerp literary journals in which De Vree also played an active role. Verheyen became involved in De Tafelronde through Ivo Michiels, whom he met in 1955, and his first contact with De Vree probably dates from 1958. In the summer of that year, the editorial teams 120

Profile for Studio Luc Derycke

Jef Verheyen  

monography of the works of Jef Verheyen

Jef Verheyen  

monography of the works of Jef Verheyen

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