Post by: Rhymings. A Dada bard as daft as Tzara damns stagnant art and scrawls an alpha a slapdash arc and a backward zag that mars all stanzas and jams all ballads what a scandal. A madcap vandal crafts a small black ankh — a hand-stamp that can stamp a wax pad and at last plant a mark that sparks an ars magna an abstract art that charts a phrasal anagram. A pagan skald chants a dark saga a Mahabharata , as a papal cabal blackballs all annals and tracts, all dramas and psalms: Kant and Kafka, Marx and Marat.
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Shelves: canadian A Limit of the Self-Reflexivity of Constrained Writing This book still reads very well, and is full interesting inventions. All chapters must describe a culinary banquet, a prurient debauch, a pastoral tableau and a A Limit of the Self-Reflexivity of Constrained Writing This book still reads very well, and is full interesting inventions.
All chapters must describe a culinary banquet, a prurient debauch, a pastoral tableau and a nautical voyage. Constrained texts owe their hypnotic quality to the fact that a reader may not be able to decipher the tone, the narrative arc, or even the style of the text, because the writing is repeatedly deviated by rules that have nothing to do with conventional narrative.
Or to put it another way this is thanks to John Luna, who read a draft of this essay on Facebook : a new kind of writing emerges despite the constraints. The way the actual narrative and that "second narrative" of constraints work together depends fundamentally on whether or not the auhor chooses to make the rules known.
When rules are announced, but not justified, reading becomes especially complex. As I read, I follow the narrative, which is distorted, truncated, or otherwise modified in many ways by the presence of the rules; at the same time, I am aware of culinary banquets, prurient debauches, pastoral tableaux, and nautical voyages. I understand that those rules are a stratgy to avoid convention and force invention. But I am also aware that the author has decided not to tell me how he chose those rules, apparently because they have no aesthetic, expressive, or biographical relevance.
But how is it possible to read a text that is all about expression and aesthetic values, when a part of it the rules is expressly excluded from expression and aesthetics? The lack of a better justification goes to a blindness or evasion in certain Oulipean practices.
It is as if the author or narator is claiming to be able to exclude certain acts of writing from the domain of expression jus by denominating them as rules rather than text. Consider for example a reader interested in the passages that "allude to the art of writing.
Often I actually look for it. But I want to know that it resonates with the act of reading, and not just with a loose, unjustified, arbitrary accumulation of generative rules.
But I find myself still unconvinced by the custom, in some constrained writing, of presenting the rules as faits accomplis instead of aesthetic choices.
Eunoia (Chapter A)