February 13, 2002 8:40 AM Subscribe
100,000,000,000,000 Poems. In 1961, French writer and mathematician Raymond Queneau published a work consisting of ten sonnets with the lines cut up so that they could be recombined in this number of ways. Magnus Bodin's page offers all the variations (in English, French or Swedish). Queneau, who also wrote a book consisting of one small incident described in 99 different styles, was a member of the OuLiPo group of writers, who chose to work under systematic constraints. Other members included George Perec, who wrote a novel without using the letter E, (a lipogram cleverly translated by Gilbert Adair), Italo Calvino, and Harry Matthews. Techniques to consider when filling that blog becomes a chore.
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