Harry Mathews was a member of French writers' group OuLiPo
and they would play a lot of games with their work.
Perloff also cites Oyvind Fahlstrom from in Oulipo
Roubaud insists on a return to poetry in which "the link between the oral and the written is thriving and aligned with the counted and rhymed tradition," using as his example the French OULIPO
Surrealisme, Nouveau Roman, Oulipo
, la fievre doctrinaire du XX e siecle s'empare de l'esthetique.
1) The methods of Oulipo
(a group founded in 1960 by French writers and mathematicians) for generating poems are also frequently cited as progenitors of digital poetry; originally paper based and often using the mathematics of Boole and Fibonacci to create poems, such works were among the first to be literalized with a computer.
I imagine how Vladislavic may have found pleasing correlations between the 370-Day Project and the tortuously-engaging writing experiments of the French OuLiPo
, the Workshop for Potential Literature, a range of experimental verbal exercises such as extended lipograms (a text from which specific letters are banned) and palindromes.
As a Gen-X practitioner of the OuLiPo
school of self-validating process-texts, the mid-century Dadaist-inspired avant-garde movement that audaciously argued that creativity required not freedom but rather form, specifically rules, precise and entirely arbitrary, for its fullest expression, Nufer works with elegant virtuosity within the self-imposed discipline.
Even Calvino in the Cosmicomiche, Ti con zero, and Palomar tried to reproduce in literature cosmological theories, or a type of expression appropriate to the scientist, although perhaps, in regard to Gadda, his proofs are more similar to exercises, experiments worthy of a member of the Oulipo
society, in which the scientific habit makes Gadda's observations on nature assume the illuministic structure of the philosophical story, and his prose, the geometric dimension of a combinatorial art.
She also utilizes arbitrary mechanisms promoted by the French avant-garde Oulipo
school and enriches her repertoire with deliberate malaprops and spoonerisms.
The richly metaphoric title of the exhibition was a reference to Italo Calvino's "The Burning of the Abominable House," a 1977 detective story driven by a search algorithm and an example of the constrained writing techniques cultivated by the Oulipo
, of which Calvino was a member.
The '60s in French literature are primarily known today as the era of the Nouveau Roman and, at least in retrospect, Oulipo
, as well as the era of a certain complicity between literature and theory, perhaps best represented by the journal Tel Quel and its founder Philippe Sobers.
I can recall at least four: November 1970 (a cryptographic problem by Walter Penney), April 1974 (a Lewis Carroll whimsy), February 1977 (a discussion of OuLiPo
, the French group devoted to literary writing under constraint), and February 1979 (the first verse of Poe's "The Raven" written automynorcagraphically, homoliterally, and heteroliterally).