Oulipo: A Primer of Potential Literature by Warren F Motte Jr.

By Warren F Motte Jr.

A extraordinary selection of writings via contributors of the crowd often called the Oulipo (Ouvroir de litterature potentiale), this anthology comprises, between others, Italo Calvino, Harry Mathews, Georges Perec, Jacques Roubaud, and Raymond Queneau. based in Paris in 1960, the Oulipo perspectives resourceful writing as an workout ruled through the tactic of "constraints." whereas an immense contribution to literary idea, and likewise nice enjoyable, Oulipo: A Primer of power Literature might be such a lot distinctive as an necessary consultant to writers.

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Extra info for Oulipo: A Primer of Potential Literature

Example text

Undoubtedly this is only an ideal situation, for two reasons. First, in spite of the undeniable classification progress represented by Quenelejeff's Table, it is clear that the domain of the formulation of constraints, as opposed to that of axioms (inscribable in the "unique source" of sets, for example), remains strongly unhomogeneous, its heterogeneity easily sur­ passing that which existed in the nineteenth century between the "obvious truths" of geometry (syntactic and semantic "truths" of ordinary language) and the even then "freer" (as Bourbaki notes) formulations of algebra (ver­ sificative "rules," for example).

Locally. (jj.. I4 15 ". "'. " ':24".. ~ ~ . ~: A Note on the 'IraDslations also be aware that all ellipses in the translated texts are the a,uthors' rather than mine. Granted that the purpose of thecoliection is to acquaint the Anglo­ phonic reader with thepriocipal aspects of Oulipian poetics. ost of the texts herein deal witl\-literary theory. ng this chpice derives-from the OuHpo's own insistence on rigor(W$ f~: if their theory does lead to practical demonstrations, the texts(){ ~s sort . resist tranSlation in a way' that the theoretical, texts do ll1ilt.

N~: , \;- 1. II •• The cb,ronogram - a centuries-old literary form - follows a' simple but demanding rule: when all letters corresponding to Roman numerals (c, d,i, I, m, \I, andx) are added together, they produce a sum equiva­ lent to a·spedfic year of the Christian calendar. The single words m£mory and . \ memento are thus chronograms of the year 2000 (m x 2); so are A moment for feasts & prayers (m x 2) and A year to pay homase to the dead (m x 1 + d x 2). Both the title and text of this work are examples of chronograms of the current year.

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