Oulipo Now

Drunken Boat Issue No. 8 / Oulipo Feature
what happens when thinking about potentiality becomes contagious:

One of the latent goals of the Oulipian enterprise is being realized before our very eyes: the explosion of a conscious revolution in the way we realize human potential.
-curator, Jean-Jacques Poucel

“In this special feature of Drunken Boat, [curator Jean-Jacques Poucel has attempted] to bear witness to several facts: that the Oulipo has authoritatively demonstrated the viability of thinking and realizing potentiality through the use of literary constraints, that this demonstration resonates with many skilled para-Oulipians who pursue similar strategies, and that the Oulipian excursions into fields of potentiality have encouraged artists and thinkers in other realms to embark on their own conscious experiments in freedom.”

“The State of Constraint: New Work by Oulipo” / McSweeney’s No. 22

A three-part exercise in inspired restriction. Featuring new pieces from active Oulipo members: “At this point it is worth specifying that the role assigned to Oulipo is simply that of proposing a constraint and giving a model of that constraint, allowing writers to produce texts that respect its form.” Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.

*see also Francis Heaney’s Lipogrammatic Consumer Guide (from McSweeney’s Internet Tendency) and Oulipo Ends Where the Work Begins: A Weekend in Four Constraints (from the Believer)

Electronic Book Review / Writing Under Constraint

a thread of sources and resources compiled from 1999 to 2005

Atlas Press

Atlas has announced the forthcoming publication of Oulipo Papers (the first in a series of selected translations from the Bibliotheque Oulipienne)


In a performative essay that utilizes N+7 and slenderizing/asphyxiation, Juliana Spahr and Stephanie Young call for a “feminist oulipo” (rather than “oulipuss” which would signify a women only group formation). Sparh and Young wanted “something that engaged the elation between fo[r]malism and body” They propose about Bergvall’s “About Face” as a “foundational work of foulipo.” Bruna Mori says about the slenderizing constraint which removes the “r” “the sound was perceived as baby talk, a speech disorder.”

*see also Kenneth Goldsmith response and Colin Symes’ essay “Writing by the Numbers” which includes a discussion about gender distinctions in language usage.

Online Oulipo Course (through Elycee)


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