Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Z is for ... ZUT ALORS!

So today is the 30th of April, which must mean that it's the twenty-sixth day of the A to Z challenge.  I've decided to share my love of writing through this challenge, and hopefully introduce people to the world of Oulipo.  I first heard about Oulipo when I was at university, and I was fascinated by their approach to writing that I decided to delve deeper into the world of experimental writing.

In a nutshell, this group of writers likes to assign constraints to their work in order to push creative boundaries.  Not only is this fun to do (the process of writing something with a constraint really does open the mind), the results are brilliant.



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Z is for ... ZUT ALORS!

Oh my goodness, this month has gone quickly, so I thought I would end this challenge with an exclamation!  I know there isn't really a direct translation for this phrase, but it would be along the lines of 'gosh darn it', but it's fairly obsolete (imagine an English speaker saying "zounds"!).  My modern day word is 'wowzers'. 

Now I chose the French 'zut alors' over the English 'zounds' to fill the Z spot as I've been blogging about the Oulipo over this last month and they are, in the main, French men.

I hope you've enjoyed reading about the various constrains that these authors and poets invented and developed, and that you'll give one (or more than one) of them a go as a way of broadening your writing horizons.

So I will leave you with one final constraint that doesn't begin with Z (as I can't find one that begins with Z!).

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Souvenirs d'un Vieil Oulipien (Remembrances of an Old Oulipian)
"The technique consists of breaking up a word into its syllables, each of which is then used as a rhyme.  The last line of each stanza ends with the complete word."
Oulipo Compendium ed. Harry Matthews & Alastiar Brotchie (London: Atlas Press, 2005) page 67.
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A-Z April Challenge
From the 1st to the 26th day
A permanent blogging tattoo
Stopping procrastinators being lazy
Working our way from A to Z*

Leaving readers' mouths and minds agape
With posts as colourful as a mandrill
Throughout the month of April

Thank you to Arlee, our valiant marshall
Building connections, akin to a henge
A positive result for a challenging challenge

*English people, please forgive me for using the Americanised 'zee' pronunciation instead of 'zed' for Z, but I couldn't find any words that ended with 'zed' or a similar sounding syllable.

13 comments:

  1. I like playing around with literary constraints as a writing exercise. I especially enjoy nonets and cinquains. Hadn't heard of oulipos before! Zut alors!

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    1. I'm a bit of a haiku fan myself. But I give anything a go :D

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  2. I've enjoyed reading your unique poetry. A-Z has been fun, and I will check your blog many times in the future!

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    1. Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed my posts :)

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  3. Replies
    1. And to you. This month has zoomed by really quickly!

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  4. Congratulations Rebeccah, you did it!

    See you next year! ;)

    Xx

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  5. Congrats on making it to the end! I'd never heard of Oulipo before your posts, and I love it when I learn something new through this challenge. I've participated in several different fiction contests that had various constraints on them and it really does kick your creativity into high gear, so I'll have to give some of these a try.

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    1. Thank you. It's been a long month, but we survived! And yes, please give them a try. Exercise for your old brainbox!

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  6. Congrats!

    Your blog is better than bacon
    appealing to the technocrats
    And we all say congrats!

    :)

    #atozchallenge, Kristen's blog: kristenhead.blogspot.com

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    1. Aww, thank you. I don't know much that is better than bacon :D

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  7. Yay! you finished the challenge... party time ;)

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