Many Subtle Channels: In Praise of Potential Literature
The Booksmith presents a discussion of literary communities, past, present, and future -- and how they
inform the future of literature.
The Oulipo is a collective of writers and scientists founded in Paris in 1960 to explore the possibilities of using mathematical and linguistic structures to generate
literature. Since its inception, it has yielded such noodle-scratching experiments as the first choose-your-own-adventure fiction in history; a mystery novel written
without the letter E; a romance novel in which the respective genders of the lovers are never specified; a children's story featuring a code that took readers over
twenty-five years to decipher; a book of poems made from anagrams of the names of Parisian métro stations; and a set of ten identically rhyming sonnets printed on flaps that can be combinatorially manipulated by the enterprising reader to create,at least in theory, one hundred trillion distinct poems.
Many Subtle Channels is a book about the Oulipo from the perspective of a young American named Daniel Levin Becker, who went to Paris to learn whether these people were, you
know, serious about all this, and returned a full-fledged Oulipian. Please join him,along with Scott Esposito, Robin Sloan, Matthew Zapruder, and John McMurtrie for an evening of readings and discussions.
Daniel Levin Becker is Reviews Editor for The Believer and has been a member of the Oulipo since 2009.
Robin Sloan is a writer and media inventor, a Snarkmarket collaborator, a Twitter habitué, and the author of the forthcoming Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
Matthew Zapruder is the author of three collections of poetry, including the recent Come On All You Ghosts, which was selected as one of the year's top 5 poetry books by Publishers Weekly, as well as the 2010 Booklist Editors' Choice for poetry, and the 2010 Northern California Independent Booksellers Association poetry book of the year. The recipient of a 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship, he is an editor at Wave Books, and a member of the permanent faculty at the low residency MFA in creative writing at UCR-Palm Desert.
John McMurtrie is a journalist and has been the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle Book Review since 2008
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