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!
That takes me back. In 1996 I first heard about a book written without the letter E (Gadsby, by Wright, published 1939). Then a couple of years later I met a French colleague and was telling him about my comic book in French that exclusively uses French-English cognates and one new French word per page. It reminded him of constrained writing, particularly “lipograms”, and he introduced me to the work of Georges Perec, who wrote various works with or without certain vowels. We exchanged DNA poetry. More recently I dabbled in pilish, adding the constraint of writing in haiku verses, very amusing.
My comic book (episode 1) is finally officially published:
I’ll be putting up a preview, probably in a few weeks.
Hmmm, you’ve given me a new blog topic to write about. Thank you!
Thank you for your visit and congrtulations on your book! I listened to some of your music that is awesome!
Are you in touch with OULIPO writers in France?
Thanks. Not at the moment, but maybe I should do that.
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