Jerome Boue (boue@laas.fr)
Mon, 17 Jan 1994 09:59:07 +0100

I have found some keys about OuLiPo (Ouvroir de Litterature Potentielle)
and computers in a french book called "OuLiPo, un atlas de litterature
potentielle", written by the members of oulipo.

They class works for which computer may be a help in two groups :

+ Aided reading, where the computer helps the reader. This is the case in
- combinational literature, like 10^14 poems or the first book Ian
mentionned ;
- algorithmic literature, like" Hopscotch" by Julio Cortazar, also
mentionned by Ian, or "Conte a votre facon" by Raymond Queneau, where
you read a little part, are asked how you want the story goes on, and
are redirected to the right part of the book, where the same process is
waiting for you.

+ Aided creating, where the computer help the writer to play with a complexity
that he does not master. The example given is "anticombinational literature".
You have many characters, many possible actions, many places, and you must
combine all without any unconsistency. You work with constraints such as :
"if A kills B, then B cannot fall in love with C later". The computer may
help the writer to solve these constraints.

You can imagine a combination of algorithmic and anticombinational literature.
The writer outlines some generic scenes, and the reader choose the characters,
the actions, the places, and the computer solves the constraints on the fly,
in order to propose consistent choices at the next step.

You can imagine many things. Have you comments about this ?


PS : If you find that my english is too bad, feel free to correct me by
private e-mail (Jerome.Boue@laas.fr)