Oulipo: Background information when reading The Anomaly

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The Anomaly

A Novel

by Hervé Le Tellier

The Anomaly by Hervé Le Tellier X
The Anomaly by Hervé Le Tellier
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  • Paperback:
    Nov 2021, 400 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Chloe Pfeiffer
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About this Book

Oulipo

This article relates to The Anomaly

Portrait of Raymond Queneau in green Hervé Le Tellier, the author of the novel The Anomaly, is a member of Oulipo. Oulipo is an international literary group that was founded in 1960 and embraces "formal and procedural constraints to achieve literature's possibilities." The name comes from the French "Ouvroir de littérature potentielle" (OuLiPo), which translates roughly to "workshop of potential literature." By inventing new structures and forms, chiefly by imposing and then working within external constraints, they attempt a "méthodique, systématique" (methodical, systematic) exploration of the potentials of literature. As cofounder Raymond Queneau put it: "Oulipians are rats who build the labyrinth from which they will try to escape."

Contra movements like modernism (in which writers rejected external constraints) and surrealism (which emphasized the unconscious and the automatic), Oulipo writers have found freedom and imagination within rigid parameters and restrictions, even including ...

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