Oulipo Laboratory: Texts from the Bibliotheque Oulipienne

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The Oulipo was founded in 1960 by a group of French writers and mathematicians.

The name of the group is an abbreviation of the French; "Ouvroir de littérature potentielle", which means "workshop of potential literature".

The group defines the term littérature potentielle as (rough translation): "the seeking of new structures and patterns which may be used by writers in any way they enjoy". Queneau described Oulipians as "rats who construct the labyrinth from which they plan to escape."

The Oulipo's original aim was to inquire into the possibilities of combining literature and mathematics, but this field of study was soon expanded to include all writing using self-imposed restrictive systems. Remarkable Oulipian works have been written by Queneau, Calvino, Perec, Roubaud, Mathews (to mention only those familiar to English-speaking readers).

The group published a series of small booklets for circulation among its friends. This anthology reproduces six of them in English facsimile, from among the earliest (no. 3, 1976) to the most recent (no. 70, 1995); it provides the English reader with a taste at least of one of the most sustained and intriguing literary investigations of the twentieth century.

This copy is in very good condition with a small crease on the bottom right of the cover.

Published in 1997 by Atlas Press.