Poetics in Public Space: Towards a Hermeneutic Framing of Ephemeral Poetic Expressions


  • Burghard Baltrusch University of Vigo


Poetic, Poeticity, Public space, Translation, Banksy, Augusto de Campos, ±MaisMenos±, Camilla Watson, Helmut Seethaler


This study aims to revisit some hermeneutical aspects which are essential for a theoretical approach to the interrelated notions of the poetic and poeticity in public space. I will use examples of ephemeral poetic forms such as graffito or performance, but also some examples of poetic objects from linguistic fields such as English, Portuguese, Spanish and German. These reflections on a theoretical and methodological framework for poetry and translation in public space can be subsumed under the key concept of transit-translation. I will associate four poetic expressions from four related cultural areas, with non-lyric discourse in visual, verbo-visual and performance poetry, in public space. They will be distributed along four thematic lines which I consider crucial to the current description of the phenomenon: the intermedial-intermaterial transition, the transfer from the poetic-political to the commercial, the poetic-political multimedia project, and the conflict between the poetic and the public. Drawing from different theoretical backgrounds (Heidegger, Benjamin, Rancière, Badiou, Bhabha, Butler and Spivak), I propose that these forms of non-lyric poetry might represent the advent of a new public sphere, which is no longer exclusively formed by an idealistic, romantic tradition, but rather characterised by a hermeneutic ambiguity which suggests a reconfiguration of the subject and of poetic subjectivity.

Author Biography

Burghard Baltrusch, University of Vigo

Burghard Baltrusch is senior lecturer in Lusophone Literatures, president of the I International José Saramago Chair and member of the research group GAELT at the University of Vigo and of the Instituto de Literatura Comparada Margarida Losa of the University of Porto (as a member of the Strategic Programme UID/ELT/00500/2013 of the FCT, Portugal).




How to Cite

Baltrusch, B. (2018). Poetics in Public Space: Towards a Hermeneutic Framing of Ephemeral Poetic Expressions. Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, 14(3), 168–195. Retrieved from https://cosmosandhistory.org/index.php/journal/article/view/671