[Parution] Oulipo and the Mathematics of Literature

Natalie Berkman, Oulipo and the Mathematics of Literature, Peter Lang, “Modern French Identities”, vol. 141, 2022

ISBN : 9781789977806

63,95 euros

The French literary collective OuLiPo was founded in 1960 with the goal of applying mathematics to literary creation. Comprised of authors, poets, mathematicians, and scientists, this quirky writer’s workshop also created some of the first electronic literature and digital humanities work, contributing to mathematics and computer science in the process. Now beginning its seventh decade of existence, Oulipo has outlived every other literary collective of its time, in no small part due to the diversity of its members and its fascinating marriage of mathematics and literature.
OuLiPo and the Mathematics of Literature retraces the historical foundations of this group’s unprecedented literary project, putting its first thirty years of archival meeting minutes into conversation with the scientific and mathematical literature that preceded the founding of the group. Through close readings and genetic criticism, this project demonstrates the impact of the group’s experimental literary production and how it invites a willing reader to participate in abstract, mathematical thought. Additionally, this book makes use of digital humanities techniques to understand Oulipo’s pioneering yet complicated relationship with computer science. This analysis sheds new light on disciplinary questions, suggesting that creative practices can help bridge this artificial divide between the Humanities and STEM fields.


List of Illustrations



Chapter 1 Set Theory

Chapter 2 Algebra

Chapter 3 Combinatorics

Chapter 4 Algorithms

Chapter 5 Geometry


Annex: Ouvroir de Peinture Potentielle (OuPeinPo)



Series Index

Natalie Berkman is a higher education specialist and award-winning scholar with almost a decade of experience in pedagogy, curriculum design, research, mentoring, and academic administration. Trained as both a literary scholar and mathematician, Natalie completed her PhD in French Literature at Princeton University as well as a BA in Mathematics, Creative Writing, and French Literature at Johns Hopkins University. She has published numerous articles in flagship journals, including Modern Language Notes, Genesis, Digital Humanities Quarterly, and Études littéraires and presents regularly at the major Literature, Digital Humanities, and History of Science conferences. Her work has been sponsored by the Princeton Center for Digital Humanities, the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, the Modern Language Association, the ANR DifdePo Research Group, and the École Normale Supérieure. Natalie won the 2019 Peter Lang Young Scholars Competition in Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century French Studies for the proposal for this book.

Lien vers l’éditeur : https://www.peterlang.com/document/1188353

Citer ce billet
Laure Michel (2022, 8 juin). [Parution] Oulipo and the Mathematics of Literature. Poemata. Consulté le 24 mai 2024, à l’adresse https://doi.org/10.58079/sx1o

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