A3 Book section, Chapters in research books
Performative Materiality of Book Inserts : The Case of S. and Personal Effects (2024)

Fjellestad, D., & Sjöberg, S. (2024). Performative Materiality of Book Inserts : The Case of S. and Personal Effects. In S. Sjöberg, M. Keskinen, & A. Karhumaa (Eds.), The Experimental Book Object : Materiality, Media, Design (pp. 52-65). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003334293-5

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsFjellestad, Danuta; Sjöberg, Sami

Parent publicationThe Experimental Book Object : Materiality, Media, Design

Parent publication editorsSjöberg, Sami; Keskinen, Mikko; Karhumaa, Arja



Publication year2024

Publication date30/11/2023

Pages range52-65

Number of pages in the book336


Place of PublicationNew York

Publication countryUnited States

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessNot open

Publication channel open access

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/92727


This chapter examines fiction books that tell fictional stories through a combination of a narrative that is printed on pages of a codex with physically removable artefacts such as postcards, letters, notes, photographs, newspaper clippings, tickets, credit cards, etc. Recognizing the importance of the (inserted) artefacts in co-constructing the story, we focus on the functions and consequences of the book’s material distribution through inserts. These functions call forth the performative aspects of materiality, that is, materiality that is situated in a cultural context of “meaning-mining.” We offer close—if selective—readings of inserts in Isidore Isou’s Le grand désordre (1963), Personal Effects (2009) by J. C. Hutchins and Jordan Weisman and S. (2013) by J. J. Abrams and Doug Dorst. We show how “unbounding” the codex, the inserts furnish an unconventional reading experience by providing sensory experiences that are physically rather than linguistically staged.

Keywordsfiction and poetrynarrationartefactsmaterialityperformativity

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2024

Preliminary JUFO rating2

Last updated on 2024-02-07 at 23:26