- Series: Atlas Anti-Classics
- Paperback: 174 pages
- Publisher: Serpent's Tail (April 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0947757899
- ISBN-13: 978-0947757892
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 6.7 x 0.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,181,906 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Oulipo Laboratory (Atlas Anti-Classics) Paperback – April, 1996
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Potential Literature, to me, seems an extension of Surrealism, which used the methods of literary production to critique modernism's obsession with the literary artifact; instead of the myth of the artist alone in some garret painstakingly crafting a Work of Art, literature is automatically generated by timed writing, or mechanically generated by multiple authors with games like the Exquisite Corpse or pieced together in a collage of found text. The Oulipo extends this the critique of modernism by exploring ways that literature can be produced as a result of mathematical formulas, or by building complex rules that limit writer's potential choices, or by the construction of new literary forms.
This book serves as a short introduction to the methods of potential literature several reprints from the groups pamphlet series, including François Le Lionnais's Manifestos and Italo Calvino's essay "How I Wrote One of My Books," which served as the blue print for If On a Winter's Nigh a Traveler.
Oulipo is a body of generative ideas rather than a critical or analytical method. It does away with philosophical underpinning in favor of just generating writing. Raymond Queneau regretted that writer's didn't use tools like other craftsmen. With word-processors, they do and this text supplies a range of techniques for extending mechanical writing beyond spell check. The muse has had her hard drive reformatted.