Creative Writing Week Three: Theory and Innovation – Lyotard and the Oulipo

I am a simple person.  I don’t like umbrellas in my drinks.  My wardrobe contains almost no frills, fringes, frippery or fun.  I am function and classic lines all the way.  I have a few costume bracelets and earrings, and wear no other adornment.   My lipstick is almost the same colour as my lips and my bedroom ceiling is the same colour as all four of my bedroom walls.    I almost never ‘get’ the hype of anything.  I am not an -ist or interested in any -ism of any kind, and I have never seen the point of movements and labels (except Chanel which I cannot yet afford).  I certainly don’t like people trying to be clever for the sake of show and tell, so I am more surprised than anybody to fall instantly in love with Oulipo.   Is it just me or did the room get smarter?  I have never heard of Oulipo-ism/ness although a number of years ago when I was living in London I bought Georges Perec’s novel ‘Life: A User’s Manual’.  I bought it for the title which I thought brilliant and to this day it remains in my to-read pile, but oh my sainted aunt am I gagging to read it now!

Constraints give rise to creativity and invention and the Oulipo is a veritable fountain of constraints in its roots of experimental writing, and while I would love to stay here and drink wine  and discuss at length,  if I don’t finish some work this evening I will not be attending school next month.

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