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Jef van Kempen

· All That Is Evident Is Suspect. Readings from the Oulipo, 1963 – 2018

All That Is Evident Is Suspect. Readings from the Oulipo, 1963 – 2018

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is oulipo-monk-becker.jpegSince its inception in Paris in 1960, the OuLiPo―ouvroir de littérature potentielle, or workshop for potential literature―has continually expanded our sense of what writing can do.

It’s produced, among many other marvels, a detective novel without the letter e (and a sequel of sorts without a, i, o, u, or y); an epic poem structured by the Parisian métro system; a story in the form of a tarot reading; a poetry book in the form of a game of go; and a suite of sonnets that would take almost 200 million years to read completely.

Lovers of literature are likely familiar with the novels of the best-known Oulipians―Italo Calvino, Georges Perec, Harry Mathews, Raymond Queneau―and perhaps even the small number of texts available in English on the group, including Warren Motte’s Oulipo: A Primer of Potential Literature and Daniel Levin Becker’s Many Subtle Channels: In Praise of Potential Literature.

But the actual work of the group in its full, radiant collectivity has never before been showcased in English. (“The State of Constraint,” a dossier in issue 22 of McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, comes closest.)

Enter All That is Evident is Suspect: the first collection in English to offer a life-size picture of the group in its historical and contemporary incarnations, and the first in any language to represent all of its members (numbering 41 as of April 2018 ). Combining fiction, poetry, essays and lectures, and never-published internal correspondence―along with the acrobatically constrained writing and complexly structured narratives that have become synonymous with oulipian practice―this volume shows a unique group of thinkers and artists at work and at play, meditating on and subverting the facts of life, love, and the group itself. It’s an unprecedentedly intimate and comprehensive glimpse at the breadth and diversity of one of world literature’s most vital, adventurous presences.

Sharks as poets and vice versa, the Brisbane pitch drop experiment, novel classifications for real or imaginary libraries, the monumental sadness of difficult loves, the obsolescence of the novel, the symbolic significance of the cup-and-ball game, holiday closures across the Francophone world, what happens at Fahrenheit 452, Warren G. Harding’s dark night of the soul, Marcel Duchamp’s imperviousness to conventional spacetime laws, bilingual palindromes, cartoon eodermdromes, oscillating poems, métro poems, metric poems, literary madness, straw cultivation.

Ian Monk is an English poet and Scott Moncrieff Award–winning translator who joined the Oulipo in 1998. He is the author of fifteen books of poetry in English and in French, most recently Vers de l’infini (Cambourakis, 2017), and has translated books by Raymond Roussel, Daniel Pennac, Marie Darrieussecq, Georges Perec, and various other Oulipians. He lives in Paris.

Title All That Is Evident Is Suspect
Subtitle Readings from the Oulipo, 1963 – 2018
Edited by Daniel Levin Becker, Ian Monk
Levin Becker, Daniel (Translator)
Marcel Duchamp (Contributor)
& 1 more
Publisher McSweeney’s
Title First Published 01 November 2018
Format Hardcover
ISBN-10 1944211527
ISBN-13 9781944211523
Publication Date 01 November 2018
Hardcover
November 13, 2018
$32.00

# new books
All That Is Evident Is Suspect
Readings from the Oulipo, 1963 – 2018
Edited by Daniel Levin Becker, Ian Monk

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More in: - Book News, - Book Stories, Art & Literature News, Dada, DADA, Dadaïsme, Georges Perec, Jef van Kempen, LITERARY MAGAZINES, Marcel Duchamp, OULIPO (PATAFYSICA), Surrealism, SURREALISM


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