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By Daniel Levin Becker

What kind of society might bind jointly Jacques Roubaud, Italo Calvino, Marcel Duchamp, and Raymond Queneau and Daniel Levin Becker, a tender American enthusiastic about language play? purely the Oulipo, the Paris-based experimental collective based in 1960 and fated to turn into certainly one of literature s quirkiest movements.

An overseas association of writers, artists, and scientists who embody formal and procedural constraints to accomplish literature s chances, the Oulipo (the French acronym stands for workshop for strength literature ) may be most sensible often called the cradle of Georges Perec's novel "A Void, " which doesn't include the letter e. attracted to the Oulipo's mystique, Levin Becker secured a Fulbright provide to check the association and traveled to Paris. He used to be ultimately provided club, turning into simply the second one American to be admitted to the crowd. From the point of view of a tender begin, the Oulipians and their initiatives are without delay extraordinary and totally compelling. Levin Becker s love for video games, puzzles, and language play is infectious, calling to brain Elif Batuman's savour Russian literature in "The Possessed."

In contemporary years, the Oulipo has encouraged the production of diverse different collectives: the OuMuPo (a collective of DJs), the OuMaPo (marionette players), the OuBaPo (comic strip artists), the OuFlarfPo (poets who generate poetry due to seek engines), and a menagerie of alternative Ou-X-Pos (workshops for capability "something"). Levin Becker discusses those and different interesting advancements during this background and private appreciation of an iconic and iconoclastic crew.

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