The OuLiPo Group

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

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The Name

The OuLiPo (Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle) was founded by Raymond Queneau and François Le Lionnais in 1960. The name is an acronym, generally loosely translated into English as “Workshop of Potential Literature”. Looking at each French term individually reveals subtle indications about the group and its goals. Ouvroir is an archaic word that has been mostly eliminated from contemporary French. Etymologically related to ouvrer or the verb “to work” and œuvre or “a work”, the term has three distinct possible meanings: 1. A place of work, where (within a community of women or a convent) one sews; 2. A workshop (generally confessional) where benevolent individuals sew objects for use in a church or another charitable organization; 3. The group of women who work in

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Citation: Berkman, Natalie. "The OuLiPo Group". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 December 2014 [, accessed 26 May 2024.]

19387 The OuLiPo Group 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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