65th Anniversary of Exercises in Style and Frederic Tuten’s “Beat”

images-1I love OULIPO, the experimental literary group that had in its ranks such writers as Italo Calvino, which produced such works as A Void, a 300-page novel without the letter “e.” One of the crowning achievements of the OULIPO group was Raymond Queneau’s Exercises in Style in which the author takes an everyday, insignificant scene and rewrites it 99 times in 99 different ways such as “causal,” “telegraphic,” and “free verse.” Because the book is coming into it’s 65th year in print, a new edition has been translated, including ten additions to the text made by contemporary authors such as Ben Marcus and Frederic Tuten. The magazine Tinhouse reprinted Frederic Tuten’s addition, “Beat,” a wonderful beat-generation style telling that made me laugh and laugh and read it aloud to anyone who would listen.

“Beat” can be found here.

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About thebaffledkingcomposing

Pamela DiFrancesco is a writer with a community college degree in journalism, a fancy art school degree in fiction and a penchant for community organizing. A native of Pennsylvania coal country, Pamela lives in Astoria, Queens, writes, and does whatever else it takes to pay the bills. In the past, Pamela has worked for newspapers and taught children journalism in an after-school program. Pamela's fiction can be found on the web at Cezanne's Carrot and Monkeybicycle, in print in The Carolina Quarterly (who nominated "The Chuck Berry Tape Massacre" for the Best American Mystery Writing anthology) and forthcoming in The New Ohio Review. When not writing, Pamela practices acts of love and kindness in hopes of a radically different world, and is preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse through acts of badassery.
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