Franz Mon

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Franz Mon (born May 6, 1926 in Frankfurt am Main ; actually: Franz Löffelholz ) is a German writer (radio play; essay; poetry) of concrete poetry .


Mon studied German, history and philosophy in Frankfurt am Main and Freiburg im Breisgau . He finished his studies in 1955 with a doctorate on Brockes' Earthly Pleasures in God . From 1956 he worked as a publishing editor in Frankfurt. In 1959 Günther Neske published articulations , the first publication by Franz Mon with poems and essays in Neske Verlag Pfullingen . In 1960, together with Walter Höllerer and Manfred de la Motte, he published the anthology movens , the range of which spanned from Gertrude Stein and Kurt Schwitters to John Cage to electron painting by Karl Otto Götz and the kinetic experiments of Heinz Mack and Victor Vasarely . In 1962 Franz Mon founded the Typos publishing house . Until 2000, Mon taught in the field of graphics / design in Kassel, Karlsruhe and at the Offenbach am Main University of Design . He lives and works in Frankfurt am Main.

Mon was a member of the Colloquium Neue Poesie Bielefeld and is a member of the German Academy for Language and Poetry , the German Academy of Performing Arts and the Free Academy of Arts Mannheim.


He made important contributions to the establishment of Concrete Poetry, in particular through his theoretical writings such as On the Poetry of the Surface , Texts in the Spaces (both 1966) and Letter Constellations (1967) . Above all, Mon advocates making the surface visible and perceptible as a text element, and not just viewing it as an unimportant text background (or ignoring it). "With Mon, language becomes voice, voice becomes writing, writing becomes image, image becomes text."

Accordingly, his poems are composed of spatially arranged letters that cannot always be placed next to each other to form whole words. Mon uses the variants of typography to draw attention to the letters themselves. The texts often appear extremely reduced, which becomes clear when one adopts Mons postulate: "It does not depend on the amount of content but on the relationship between the number of characters and realizable relationships" (from: letter constellations )

Like many of his colleagues, Mon prefers the consistent lower case and uses little or no punctuation marks.

In addition to his theoretical writings and concrete poetry, Mon has also developed various types of visual texts, text collages and text spaces, which he conceived as a kind of linguistic language game, since the early 1960s. In his octagonal text space Mortuarium for two alphabets, designed as an installation, he metaphorically addresses the gradual disappearance of writing and language in the present and the future. Based on a legible basic text, which is printed on the first of eight transparent panels, Mon designed successive erasure of the text on the other panels by progressively superimposing words and letters, thereby destroying the legibility of contexts. Some names of deceased personalities, which appear sporadically from the text fragments due to the variable legibility, give the mortuarium a further context in terms of content.

Selected poems

  • october (nobody knows anymore the thistles go backwards)
  • ground plan (was visible is exactly visible)

Publications (selection)


  • articulations ; Pfullingen: Neske, 1959
  • log on the chain . 14 poems. with six graphics by Bernhard Schultze. Cologne: Gallery Der Spiegel , 1961
  • Gradients . With lithographs by KO Götz. Stuttgart: Galerie Müller, 1962
  • Visual passages. A demonstration. Wolfgang Fietkau Verlag, Berlin 1983 (steps 8, first edition 1964), ISBN 978-3-87352-008-0 .
  • know how white . with embossed prints by Rolf Kissel. Bad Homburg: Gulliver Press, 1964
  • just use the alphabet . Stuttgart: edition hansjörg mayer, 1967
  • herzzero . Neuwied and Berlin: Luchterhand, 1968
  • Texts about texts . Neuwied and Berlin: Luchterhand, 1970
  • common room . with screen prints by Thomas Lenk. Duisburg: Guido Hildebrandt, 1972
  • mouse in flour . Frankfurt / M .: Gallery Patio, 1976
  • to fall. texts from more than eleven years . Spenge: Verlag Klaus Ramm, 1981
  • listen without stopping . Linz: new texts, 1983
  • It's even closer. 9 texts from the 50s . Spenge: Verlag Klaus Ramm, 1985
  • what do you think of Bielefeld . with collages by the author. Brackwede near Bielefeld: Pendragon, 1987
  • Ankle of the alphabet. 33 visual texts . Offenbach: University of Design, 1989
  • the word on the tongue. Texts from forty years . Berlin: Janus, 1991
  • After Omega and so on . Spenge: Verlag Klaus Ramm, 1992
  • Collected Texts - Vol. 1 Essays . Berlin: Janus, 1994
  • Collected Texts - Vol. 2 Poetic Texts 1951-1970 . Berlin: Janus, 1995
  • Collected Texts - Vol. 2 herzzero . Berlin: Janus, 1996
  • Words full of words . Spenge: Verlag Klaus Ramm , 1999
  • Free flight for catch questions . 103 alphabet poems with 26 uppercase collages and 1 CD with phonetic texts since 1960, ed. by Michael Lentz . Vienna: edition selene, 2004
  • Refuge with Flies - Reader , ed. by Michael Lentz. Frankfurt am Main: S. Fischer, 2013
  • Language, for life. Collected Essays , ed. by Michael Lentz. Frankfurt am Main: S. Fischer, 2016

Discography (selection)

Sound carrier

  • Articulations 1964. (Frankfurt / M.). Copy, reel tape
  • "Hänk", articulatory etude, on: CONCRETE POETRY - SOUND POETRY - ARTICULATIONS, ed. by anastasia bitzos. Bern: Hi-Fi studio John Spinner 1966. LP
  • Blaiberg funeral. Technical accomplishment: Sylve Sjöberg, on: Text-sound-compositions 7 / Stockholm 1970. (Stockholm approx. 1970), Fylkingen / SR Records, RELP 1103. LP
  • erge erect (1962). Speaker: Franz Mon, on: PHONETICAL POETRY. Luchterhand record, ed. by Franz Mon. Neuwied and Berlin 1971. LP
  • the grass is growing. Radio play. Director: Franz Mon. Prod .: SR / BR / WDR 1969. Saarländischer Rundfunk, Saarbrücken o. J. / Dokumenationsschallplatte /. o. O., o. J. (about 1974). Deutsche Grammophon / HÖRSPIEL HEUTE, Luchterhand 2574 004. LP
  • Because That's You (1973). WDR, Cologne 1974, on: futura. POESIA SONORA. Antologia storico critica della poesia sonora a cura di Arrigo Lora-Totino . Milano: Cramps Records 1978, 5206 305. LP
  • Yes-no parable (1971/78), based on: POÉSIE SONORE INTERNATIONALE. Edited by Henri Chopin . Paris: Ed. Jean-Michel Place 1979, Audiocassette I / Supplement to the book of the same name by Henri Chopin /
  • eyewitness (text), on: manuscripts for ALFRED KOLLERITSCH 1981. Graz 1981. Audiocassette / supplement to the special issue of the same name /
  • erge erekt, 1962/1970, on: New magazine for music. Mainz: Schott Verlag 1998, No. 5, “Music Spoken”. CD / CD supplement /


  • herzzero , directed by Roland H. Wiegenstein and the author, HR 1962.
  • The grass was growing , directed by the author, SR / BR / WDR 1969.
  • Blaiberg-Funeral , Reige: the author, Sveriges Radio / WDR 1970.
  • radio plays are made , directed by the author, NDR / WDR 1970.
  • bring to come stereo radio play. Directed by the author, WDR 1970. Karl Sczuka Prize 1971.
  • hear son howling once , directed by the author, WDR 1971.
  • I am the, I am the director: the author, executor: Trio Exvoco, WDR 1971.
  • Pincopallino in a fragile environment or Man in space , directed by the author, HR 1972
  • since you are that . Radio play with Tera de Marez-Oyens . WDR, NCRV Hilversum 1973.
  • radio plays are made . Workshop report. NDR / WDR 1974.
  • Sound poetry 2 . The Trio Exvoco under the direction of Ewald Liska interprets texts by Franz Mon, SDR 1975.
  • articulations A listening spot. WDR 1977.
  • hear and see pass WDR / NDR 1977. Prix ​​Futura 1977.
  • dada music . Directed by the author, SDR / NDR 1980.
  • literature between the chairs , directed by the author, NDR 1980.
  • if, for example, only one person is in a room, a radio play. WDR 1982. Karl Sczuka Prize
  • Essay on: " If, for example, there is only one in a room " Donaueschingen, October 15, 1982, on the occasion of the award ceremony. SDR 1982.
  • reading book (1967), interpreted by the Trio EXVOCO, in: Trio EXVOCO: LAUTSPEKTAKEL DADA. Poetry for voices. NDR.
  • you laugh like a dog Director: the author. WDR 1985.
  • This is what the brain discovered Frankfurt Fest 1985, "Music, Poetry, Actions", 1985, Mozart Hall of the Alte Oper.
  • Literature Between the Chairs Essay. Directed by the author. WDR 1986.
  • Monday night for voices and flute. Directed by the author. WDR 1987.
  • articulations Recording of the live performance in New York, WDR 1990.
  • There is no need to talk about the timetables , director: the author, WDR 1996, Karl Sczuka Prize.
  • There is no need to talk about the timetables - Franz Mon in a workshop talk with Klaus Ramm SWR / ZKM 2001.
  • degenerate auspunkte , directed by the author, HR 2007. Radio play of the month May.
  • As seen , it is directed by the author, HR 2010. Radio play of the month of June.
  • How do we know that? Radio play for four voices, directed by the author, SWR 2011.


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Carlfriedrich Claus, Franz Mon u. a .: Franz Mon: articulations. planetlyrik, March 24, 2016, accessed on May 4, 2017 (German).
  2. ^ National Museums in Berlin (ed.), Bernd Evers (introduction): Das XX. Century. A century of art in Germany. The readability of art . Nicolaische Verlagsbuchhandlung, Berlin 1999. ISBN 3-87584-873-X , p. 127
  3. Sandra Kegel: Franz Mon to the 90th - The Entfesslungskünstler. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, May 6, 2017, accessed on May 3, 2017 .
  4. Helmut Heißenbüttel: New Poetry: Concrete Poetry as an Alternative? A colloquium at Bielefeld University. Die Zeit, February 24, 1978, accessed May 4, 2017 .
  5. Michael Lentz : In the cage of freedom. With his sound poems, the poet Franz Mon makes it possible to experience how we use language and how language uses us. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung, May 6, 2016, p. 13.
  6. The text space was shown in the exhibition Pictures for Frankfurt 1985 in the Deutsches Architekturmuseum. Peter Iden , Rolf Lauter (ed.): Pictures for Frankfurt. Inventory catalog of the Museum of Modern Art . Munich 1985, p. 100, illus. P. 101. ISBN 978-3-7913-0702-2
  7. Further information and quotations in the Pictures for Frankfurt catalog . [1]
  8. The two poems are from: Hans Bender (Ed.), Gegenpiel. German poetry since 1945 , Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich 1962, without ISBN
  9. Neue Zürcher Zeitung of May 16, 2014

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