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The End of Oulipo?: An attempt to exhaust a movement Kindle Edition
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The book gets two stars because of Esposito's contribution. I got to know something about authors I was unfamiliar with, who are not part of Oulipo but who utilize techniques one might describe as oulipian. Esposito has lots of sympathy for Perec and some other Oulipo authors, but the gist of his article is that the most interesting oulipian activity is now taking place outside of the group. I found Lauren Elkin's contribution very disagreable to read. It is little more than one long diatribe against Hervé Le Tellier, who is accused of sexism and described as someone who gives you "the distinct impression that he's trying to validate his own banality by attributing it to his characters." In her final note, Elkin concedes that she "believe(s) there is hope for him." Well, dear Lauren Elkin, in the name of Hervé Le Tellier I thank you for these kind words. As part of an "attempt to exhaust a movement", Elkin's contribution is a bit meagre though.
The overall message seems to be: unless the Oulipo quickly adopts authors such as Christian Bök, Tom McCarthy and the alas already deceased Edouard Levé, and unless the movement becomes thoroughly feminist in its approach to literature, the end is near for Oulipo.
And thus I gladly return to Jacques Roubaud's monumental "le grand incendie de londres". At least now I'm not wasting my time.
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