Not Another Boring Textbook View page Young people are invariably wooed by liberal groups and the political parties affiliated with them. Author Rich Stowell. Binding Kindle Edition. Publisher Ekot Literary Service. ISBN 3. Author Elkin Lauren. ISBN 2. ISBN 5. Control profile. The End of Oulipo? We can order this Usually dispatched within 2 weeks. Quantity Add to basket.
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This item has been added to your basket View basket Checkout. The Oulipo celebrated its fiftieth birthday in , and as it enters its sixth decade, its members, fans and critics are all wondering: where can it go from here? In two long essays Scott Esposito and Lauren Elkin consider Oulipo's strengths, weaknesses, and impact on today's experimental literature. Added to basket. The Riverside Chaucer. Geoffrey Chaucer. George Orwell. James Joyce.
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One must also concede that Perec is, with good reason, so highly esteemed that many authors cannot help in comparison but fall short of his achievements. This is rather like incorporating the subway, and the journey one takes on it, into the process of poetic production. Given that not everyone wants to write lipograms, it is beneficial to have Oulipians who promote accessibility, and whose innovation lies in finding potential writers in everyday readers.
This seems, then, to be as much a problem of how works are made available in translation as it is one of publication; it is doubtful, for example, that the group itself was holding back an English edition of Sphinx. It must be acknowledged, however, that both Jouet and Le Tellier have also done thoughtful work on the idea of literary constraints and have also imposed very challenging ones in some of their writing.
At the very least, Elkin [End Page ] and Esposito have themselves engaged in an investigation of potentiality, which itself might be proof that the movement cannot be exhausted. Rather than suggesting a way forward for the Oulipo, De Bary examines its history and traces its evolution. The group spent many of its early days experimenting with forms and examining the literature of the past.
Many of the experiments involved reworking past texts with newer methods, or identifying old methods for reuse. Even as its experiments started to yield novel or unconventional results, the Oulipo did not make a radical break with the past. Perhaps owing to the fact that it did not start out as a literary project, the group remained aware of its influences and predecessors and did not seek to usurp them.
However, it did not seek association [End Page ] with the avant-garde itself.
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The Oulipo possesses a traditionalism that sets it apart from such movements. Moreover, it has survived far longer than an avant-garde movement might normally be expected to last 49— Despite its traditionalism, the Oulipo has nevertheless evolved. Perhaps this was inevitable: its own potentiality was to eventually shift from being an experimental workshop to becoming a literary circle. He seemed to be comfortable working with all constraints and genres, and his experiments pushed the concept of constraint into new territory.
The End of Oulipo?: An Attempt to Exhaust a Movement
The relationship Perec formed with the Oulipo was mutually beneficial. De Bary also points to the important role Italo Calvino played when he joined in He, too, was adept at using a broad range of constraints, and had already published a substantial body of work. Its task is harder: to identify the distinctive features of Oulipian writing, and to examine how constraints work within it.
Since the group was not always exclusively a literary one, and its members came from a variety of disciplines, defining how the concept of constraints shaped the practices of all of its members at different moments in time is difficult. Here, De Bary summarizes how central figures such as Roubaud, Perec, and Jouet understand the notion of constraint. She [End Page ] demonstrates that for Oulipians, constraints are not necessarily binding; they can work without them, or even sometimes even circumvent them.
She displays a vast knowledge of both the Oulipo and the critical work it has inspired. The group can be difficult to define, since it has evolved over time, and has had many different members who have adopted varying approaches to the art and practice of writing.