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Oulipo (sometimes written OuLiPo) stands for Ouvroir de littérature potentielle, the French for Workshop for Potential Literature. It was founded in 1960 by a group of writers and mathematicians, as a sub-committee of the College of Pataphysics. Its aim was to invent new forms and structures for literary works, as well as bring back old ones. Examples of these can be found in my Experimental literature list and include lipograms, the same incident told in multiple ways, such as Raymond Queneau‘s Excercices de Style, writing only in monosyllables and replacing every noun with the noun seven letters after it in the dictionary. Mathematics is key to their work and they focus on the formal rather than inspirational aspects of literature. Key members of the group include Raymond Queneau, Georges Perec, Harry Mathews (one of the few US members), Italo Calvino and Marcel Bénabou, with his brilliantly titled book Pourquoi je n’ai écrit aucun de mes livres (Why I Have Not Written Any of My Books).

Books about Oulipo

Peter Consenstein: Literary Memory, Consciousness, and the Group Oulipo
Harry Mathews and Alastair Brotchie (editors): The Oulipo Compendium
Warren F. Motte (editor): Oulipo: A Primer of Potential Literature
Raymond Queneau et al.: Oulipo Laboratory (Texts from the Bibliothèque oulipienne)
Oulipo: Abrége de littérature potentielle (in French)
Oulipo: La littérature potentielle (in French)

Other links

The OuLiPo
Into the Maze: OULIPO
Oulipo Ends Where The Work Begins
In Quest of the Oulipo
Oulipo Links Gallery
Index of Oulipo Books under review at the complete review
Essential Works by Oulipo Members in English
The N+7 Machine
Gef’s Oulipian Exercises (despite the title, mainly in French and Oulipian)
OuLiPo (in French)
La Bibliothèque Liste-Oulipienne (in French)
Perec et L’OuLiPo (in French)
Infolipo (in French)
Le cothurne étroit (Textes à contraintes – in French)