Articles tagged "Oulipo"


Oulipian Champagne: Mucking with Caradec’s Deft Trickery

I remember watching Yvonne Rainer’s Journeys from Berlin/1971 in film class, and I recall the feeling of sitting in that dark Simon Fraser annex classroom searching for patterns that eluded me. …...

From the Translator: Content with Constraint

The question most on a translator’s mind, when working on an Oulipian text, is, do you translate the constraint or the content? Can you do both: follow both the potentiality unleashed by the constraint…...

Self-translation / Self-destruction

Soon after being co-opted into the Oulipo in 1998, I started to write in French, while also continuing to write in English, and working as an all-around freelance translator (poetry, fiction, IT, marketing,…...

Words with Borders: Writing from the Oulipo

As the prevailing image used by book reviewers to praise literary translations is that of transparency—limpid, pellucid, crystalline—it seems clear, so to speak, how ready we are to think of…...

The Stations of the Cry

This is the tale of a lengthy journey. A step-by-step journey, one inspired by a misfortune that took place in the court of the Hungarian Prince Esterházy, in November 1772, in the city of Esterháza.…...

Seven Irrational Sonnets

Melancholy So I’ll once more find my old horizons, cherished scent of winds and habitations. Fear not if it seems I’m quitting the place. I leave Paris just to love it better. One tends to…...

Melody in A Flat

in the basement the heroine of a Gainsbourg song on the eighth a top executive smug and cocky on the first a sexually repressed family of bourgeois on the seventh Mr. Fix-It getting itchy fingers on the…...

To sleep, perchance to dream

Censorship We know that the earliest readers of Remembrance of Things Past objected to the length of its incipit narration of its hero’s noddings-off and nocturnal (and diurnal) reveries. A gentleman…...

Anagrammatic Sestina

At the end of the furrow, words staple the page, lashing agile lines. None are spared.  The choice is made: it imbricates, recaps white porcelain, tin, polishes carets, better yet, china clay. Rhyming…...

Infinity, Minus Forty Yearly Installments: Noun Complements (1972–2012)

1. In September 1972, funded by a scholarship, I took the Orient Express to Vienna. Sixteen-hour journey, upper bunk. Less than enthusiastic about sharing a room in the student hostel, I looked for a studio…...

The Life You Save May Be Your Own

Canada Dry Spoonerisms 1. A Sicilian caterwauls, except in Apulia. 2. The archaeologist’s wife does love a serious excavation. 3. How adroit you are with your crocuses! 4. The seafarer takes a pruning…...

Oubapo: Comics and Constraints from France

Comics are a medium founded on constraints. Even more than prose, comics are subject to rules of sequence and format that to some degree determine the content of each work. Take the common newspaper…...

Op Oloop

 In the spirit of our PerecFest, I recommend Juan Filloy’s Op Oloop, published last summer by Dalkey Archive in Lisa Dillman’s ingenious translation. The title chimes with upending…...

Work and Play: A Conversation with Warren Motte

Warren Motte is among the most vibrant and resourceful critics of French contemporary fiction in the world today. Professor of French and Italian at the University of Colorado, Boulder, he received his…...