May 15- A night with the OULIPO writers

Hello May,

how was your day? Sunny most of the time…

The highlight of my day has been going to the “OULIPO” lecture at the National Library in Paris. What is OULIPO?

A group of writers, not just French, and a style of constrained writing full of humor and with an inspiration from mathematics. I refer you to Wikipedia for more details (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oulipo). The group was created in the 1960s but is still very active, and they are reading their texts once a month, on Thursday’s at the National Library.

Italo Calvino for example, one of my favorites, was a member.

To go back to my day, the theme of the lecture was the use of “feet” in literature. It was much fun and sexual connotations were present here and there. This is the first time I joined them, and decided I should do it again. I should even use some of their experimenting technics in my writing.

Just outside, I run into a friend, a writer, I haven’t seen in three years. He told me he would like to read extracts from my novel, which is great!

So OULIPO members are using constraints to write. I might need some constraints for the rest of May:

One form of experimentation would be getting in touch with potential mentors without waiting three years to pass.

Another, two hours writing every day: starting from tomorrow morning.

And finally I dare myself to express feelings. Of love, affection, appreciation to someone I find attractive.

Let’s have fun with constraints!

 

Logo: http://www.placepublique-rennes.com/2010/11/rennes-capitale-oulipienne/

 

May 14- at the Kurdish restaurant

Hello May,

yes, I went out again tonight, what do you mean it is the middle of the week? It was the birthday of a good friend, you just can’t say no in this occasion!

At first I thought we were to go to a Turkish restaurant, but finally it ended up being Kurdish: “Zagros” named after the chain of mountains in Kurdistan. It is situated close to metro Père Lachaise. Very nice lamp with eggplants, by the way.

M invited friends she has made in different settings, so I practically didn’t know anyone but her. I got there at 21.30, and was among the first of the group, the other six friends came after 10.00. We were a mixture of French, Greek, Kurdish, Turkish, Iranian, Americans. There was one person she was particularly eager to see: a Kurdish musician, who would play traditional instruments. He arrived late, a real star, and after having drunk some wine, smoked and eaten, he played the Tanbur and sung nostalgic love songs.

It was beautiful.

We forgot our everyday questions, the music was enough to create a unity between people who had never met before.

Everyday questions, as for example: what will happen if all the men I am interested in come to my summer event?  Two of them seemed decided to do so, this afternoon.

Can I handle this?

Of course I can!

 

 

https://i1.wp.com/js.aichelbaum.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/zagros.jpg

Photo from: http://francois.aichelbaum.com/restaurant-zagros-du-mediterranneen-au-pere-lachaise/