Friday, April 3, 2009

Editor Discusses Roubaud's Latest

Over at The Front Table (blog of the Seminary Co-op Bookstore), editor Jeremy M. Davies talks about The Loopby Jacques Roubaud (Dalkey Archive Press, trans. Jeff Fort). The Loop will be published in the US on April 21st in a 712-page paperback edition. Roubaud is a French poet, novelist, mathematician, and member of Oulipo—the workshop of potential literature.

The entire post is interesting, but I particularly like Davies's explanation of the various constraints Roubaud worked within while writing The Loop:

Great Fire, and its companion, The Loop, are Oulipian novels, and one of the constraints dictating their composition is that they can only be written in the dark, predawn hours before sunrise. Another constraint—a little trickier—is that everything in the book must be the truth, or as close to the truth as Roubaud can make it at the time of writing: not just in the sense of the author telling us only what he believes to be true, but also in that he must be truthful about the process of his work, and therefore his thought. This means that the book is never linear, is endlessly evocative, endlessly digressive ....

(Via Conversational Reading)

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