Wednesday, 3 April 2013

C is for ... CONSTRAINTE DU PRISONNIER


So today is the 3rd of April, which must mean that it's the third day of the A to Z challenge.  I've decided to share my love of writing through this challenge, and hopefully introduce people to the world of Oulipo.  I first heard about Oulipo when I was at university, and I was fascinated by their approach to writing that I decided to delve deeper into the world of experimental writing.

In a nutshell, this group of writers likes to assign constraints to their work in order to push creative boundaries.  Not only is this fun to do (the process of writing something with a constraint really does open the mind), the results are brilliant.



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C is for ... CONSTRAINTE DU PRISONNIER (prisoner's constraint)
"... imagine a prisoner whose supply of paper is restricted.  To put it to fullest use, he will maximise his space by avoiding any letters extending above or below the line (b, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, p, q, t, and y) and only use a, c, e, i, m, n, o, r, s, u, v, w, x, and z."

Oulipo Compendium ed. Harry Matthews & Alastiar Brotchie (London: Atlas Press, 2005) page 215.
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This was developed for/by prisoners who were given a limited supply of paper for writing letters.  Therefore, in order to write as much as possible, they didn't want to use letters that could possibly overlap/take up too much space.  Here is my attempt.

we are over.  no more us.  no more we.  now me.  i am me.  me.  once i saw us, in a vision.  a vow in amour.  roses, a vicar.  now no more.  visions are over.  our avenue ceases.   i'm now a maven.  i can own vices.  man uses me no more.  curvaceous, cavernous vixens weave venomous sinews, a maze.  a curse on scum women, sour winners in a race.  no excuses.  man vexes me.  men vex me.  men scar me.  men ruin.  men roam.  men rove.  warrior men scour, seize.  woman cries raw.  i crave a man, a nice man, a wise man.  not a con man.

28 comments:

  1. I wanted to comment but I really don't know what to say.

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    1. You don't need to say anything. Thank you for stopping by :)

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  2. Well I've just learn't something new today :D great post and your attempt was amazing!! I could never do anything as good as that :)

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    1. Thank you. Give it a go, you never know how good you'll be until you try (I haven't swallowed a book of cliches! I just like to be positive when it comes to writing, as amazing things can happen when you put pen to paper).

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  3. I see what you did there. You just gave yourself two challenges, and overcame both of them brilliantly! I'll just say:
    i see a c. a vivacious c. i examine c. me savor c.

    How was that?

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    1. Thank you. That was brilliant! A* for you :)

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  4. I hate to admit this, but I still have to digest this and figure out how it's done. Very interesting,indeed!

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    1. Thank you. This one took me so long to write, but it is satisfying when you eventually do it. It's like playing a piece of music perfectly for the first time with no wrong/missing notes :)

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  5. What a great read! I might try that style when writing poems. I'm your new follower!

    From A to Z Challenge,
    Sonnia J. Kemmer

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    1. Thank you :) It's fun, if not a tad tricky.

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  6. How fascinating! I had never heard of Oulipo before, but it really tickles my fancy! I'm definitely going to retweet this post.

    Happy A to Z to you. Thanks for dropping by my blog.

    ~Tui Snider
    @mentalmosaic
    www.mentalmosaic.com/blog

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    1. Thank you for stopping by. I love Oulipo (obviously!) and it still tickles my fancy!!

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  7. I'm a fan of this kind of restricted writing but not very good at myself. I have a friend who's doing 99 exercises in style.

    A fellow A-Zer

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    1. Exercises in Style is a brilliant book. I'm not very good at some of these constraints (this one included), but practise makes perfect :)

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  8. Interesting and clever, and yet another reason why I don't want to visit the slammer. The best I can come up with would be beneficial to fishermen. -MORE WORMS ON ICE- ;)

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    1. Thank you :) I'm sure there are fishermen who like poetry too :D

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  9. This is very interesting and completely new to me. http://suestrifles.wordpress.com/

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  10. Hey Rebeccah,
    Thanks for stopping by my C is for Countdown post! A woman I work with has a huge calendar on her office wall that she crosses the days off of as she nears her retirement. I'll be doing my MA in English Literature. I also have a passion for creative writing, though which is why meeting you and your blog is so great. I'm doing my CW Thesis right now and am having a lot of fun playing around with different forms in my writing.
    Cheers from Brandy at http://brandysbustlings.blogspot.ca/

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    1. Good luck with your thesis. I did mine in creative writing too :)

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  11. Wow! Amazin' what can be achieved when you focus on what can't be used!

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  12. New information. I tried to comment in the Constrainte Du Prisonnier format. But couldn't find the right words. But gonna praticee. :)

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    1. Thank you. It does take a bit of time to get used to, but give it a try. Everything can always be edited :)

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  13. Wonderful and brilliant. Thank you for teaching me something new. :)

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  14. That is very interesting... beyond that I am a bit at a loss as to what to say :( Like your poem a lot, as usual!

    Jak at The Cryton Chronicles & Dreams in the Shade of Ink

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