Friday, 5 April 2013

E is for ... ELEMENTARY MORALITY


So today is the 5th of April, which must mean that it's the fifth 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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E is for ... ELEMENTARY MORALITY
"First come 3 series of 3 + 1 pairs, each pair consisting of a noun and an adjective (or participle), freely including repetitions, rhymes, alliterations, and echoes; next, a kind of interlude of 7 lines, each line 1 to 5 syllables long; last, a conclusion of 3 + 1 pairs of words (noun and adjective or participle), more or less recapitulating several of the 24 words of the first part." 
Oulipo Compendium ed. Harry Matthews & Alastiar Brotchie (London: Atlas Press, 2005) page 142.
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(It's supposed to look better than this, but I don't know how to format things on here!)

Scared writer         Hopeful soul          Determined spirit
                             Blank page
Timid waiter          Clock watcher       Time waster
                             Black page
Bleak winter         White cover            Overpowering brightness
                             Blocked page

                            Writers' block
                             causes
                            a troubled mind
                            to double back
                            and create
                            empty thoughts
                           on an empty page

Right writer         Flowing words           Black lines        
                           Covered page

18 comments:

  1. Hi Rebeccah. Interesting post - and thanks for the introduction to Oulipo. It's the first time I have heard of it, but I agree that placing constraints on your writing can really broaden your imagination and improve your craft.

    I have recently joined a writer's group and each week they set a flash fiction challenge which I have loved and can already tell that it's improved my other writing. Hope you're enjoying the challenge as much as I am and good luck!

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    1. Thank you. I like to be challenged with my writing, but I've never written flash fiction. I'm not sure I could condense a story into so few words. No doubt I will give it a go at some point!

      I am enjoying the A-Z. I've found some interesting blogs and people out there!

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  2. I am enjoying your writing and the concepts you explain.
    http://suestrifles.wordpress.com/

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    1. Thank you, I'm glad you're liking my posts :)

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  3. New ideas. Loving your post. Gonna be in my reference list. :)

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  4. I've always thought the Oulipo concept was really cool. Awesome post.

    Happy A through Z blogging!
    http://pensuasion.blogspot.com/

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  5. Wow. I found the description confusing but the poem absolutely beautiful! I want to tape it my monitor to read any time I have writer's block!

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    1. Thank you very much. The description is a bit tough to get your head around, so don't worry. It took me quite a while to write this one.

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  6. Ahh, something new for me. Great E post.

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  7. Hi Rebecca,

    I love your blog, which I found thanks to the A to Z challenge. I keep telling my poet pals to come over and check you out. I think they will be very inspired.

    Thank you for visiting my blog! :)

    ~Tui
    Twitter: @mentalmosaic
    Blog: http://www.mentalmosaic.com/blog

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    1. Thank you for telling people about my blog, and for stopping by yourself. It's very much appreciated :)

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  8. Writing Rebeccah Interesting posts Visiting bloggers
    Popular blog

    Loving all of these ideas, thank you for introducing me to them! :)

    The A to Z blog said in the latest post to add a link to your own A to Z blog in the comments, so here's mine: kristenhead.blogspot.com

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  9. Wow, that's really interesting. I saw something similar to do (not similar content, but writing something with constraints) and it is a new concept to me, in this manner. I really like it!

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