[DWJ] Oulipo (was Re: 'that damned hook'?)

Roger Burton West roger at firedrake.org
Sun Apr 15 12:33:22 EDT 2007

On Sat, Apr 14, 2007 at 06:29:55PM +0100, Minnow wrote:

>I know that some people do write without one or another punctuation mark,
>or without the use of the letter e, or whatever other idiosyncratic wossits
>they choose, but I sincerely doubt that this makes their work easier to
>read or to understand, and if one doesn't want to be read or understood
>what's the point of writing?  Alternatively, if such people are writing
>only for those who are prepared to spend time and effort in cracking their
>personal code, for a self-selected in-group who "understand", for the
>"interior people", aren't they being rather *more* "snooty" and elitist
>than those who are prepared to write for the general mass of people who
>find conformity with what is ordinarily conventional easier to understand?

As I understand it, the Oulipo movement (who did the "no letter E"
business - in French, where it can be somewhat harder) were mostly
working on the basis that restrictions seem to produce better art, so
they were putting together entirely artificial restrictions to see if
they could produce something interesting while working within them. The
idea of that is certainly not to be hard to understand.


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