The French Embassy in New York is sponsoring “Oulipo In New York: A Workshop Of Experimental Literature” from April 1st through the 4th in locations around the city.
The Oulipo, Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle, is a collective of writers and mathematicians founded in 1960 by François Le Lionnais and Raymond Queneau. Since its creation, the Oulipo group explores alternative ways of writing fiction and poetry, by using patterns and constraints often inspired from mathematical models, but always in a playful spirit. Its members include Marcel Bénabou, Anne Garréta, Hervé Le Tellier, Ian Monk, Jacques Roubaud, and American author Harry Mathews, all of whom will be in New York for three days of readings, lectures, writing workshops and book signings. Jacques Roubaud will be presenting the recently published English translation of his book La boucle (The Loop).
Here are the details (see the site for times and locations):
April 1st: Oulipo reading followed by book signings, in English
April 2nd: Oulipo, Nouveaux Sentiers, Nouveaux Chantiers*, a roundtable discussion in French
April 2nd: Book launch and reading of Jacques Roubaud’s The Loop, in English
April 3rd: Creative writing workshop with Marcel Bénabou, in French (limited to 12 participants)
April 3rd: Poetry readings followed by book signings, in English
April 4th: Buffet-brunch followed by Oulipo reading, in French and English (invitations only)
Of course, Oulipo fans will note, sadly, the passing of Barbara Wright who translated Raymond Queneau’s work, among others. New Directions points out, “Her translation of Exercises in Style won great regard from Queneau, who proclaimed that “it proves nothing is untranslatable.”
And finally, please do note the many cultural events and information sponsored by the French Embassy.