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October 23, 2005

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Oulipogram: The passage in Life a User's Manual where Perec embeds the names of the Oulipo homonymically in descriptions of elaborately painted plates.

That is all well and good, but why is the obstetrician standing uselessly to the side with a hammer and a stethescope dangling uselessly from his hands? Shouldn't he be taking a bit of a more active role?

Weiner: did he actually do that? I've only read A Void.

As for the obstetrician, it looks like the baby came out ok in the end, doesn't it? And the text states that he cut the umbilical chord; it's just not depicted.

he cut the umbilical chord

The lost chord?

I have sought but I seek it vainly,
That one lost chord divine,
Which came from the soul of the organ,
And entered into mine.

Listen, I'm really tired.

I wasn't teasing you. I was just interested in the intertextual possibilities your typo presented. Umbilical chord? "Which came from the soul of the organ"? Tell me this juxtaposition isn't pregnant with meaning.

No no—you're right. I was being too sensitive. I'd have done the same in your position, if, of course, I had your stupendous erudition.

I would venture that your erudition is at least as stupendous as mine. Not that I've peeked.

3: He did do that. It's in chapter 59. Much easier to work out what's going on if you have both French and English, because you can figure out what hoops the translator is jumping through.

ex: no. 19 concealing "Harry Mathews":

L'acteur Archibald Moon hésite pour son prochain spectacle entre Joseph d'Arimathie ou Zarathoustra

The actor Archibald Moon dithers for his next show between the roles of Mata Hari, Methuselah, and Joseph of Arimathea

(Joseph has to stay in, being critical to the plot.)

3: He did do that. It's in chapter 59. Much easier to work out what's going on if you have both French and English, because you can figure out what hoops the translator is jumping through.

ex: no. 19 concealing "Harry Mathews":

L'acteur Archibald Moon hésite pour son prochain spectacle entre Joseph d'Arimathie ou Zarathoustra

The actor Archibald Moon dithers for his next show between the roles of Mata Hari, Methuselah, and Joseph of Arimathea

(Joseph has to stay in, being critical to the plot.)

I don't know how I managed to do that. I blame the preview button.

That's awesome.

(They're actually plain old paintings—or "imaginary portraits"—not plates.)

They say that there's a secret cord
The ob/gyn cut and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for Slim Jims, do ya

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