Surrealist Games and Oulipo (Chapter 1)

Surrealism tends toward the liberation of the subconscious mind–“beauty in the service of liberty.” The Oulipo school, on the other hand, deals in constraints–for example, writing a novel without the letter “e” in it, to use a famous example (Perec). Both philosophies can be incredibly valuable for inspiration or for generating story ideas. Rather than re-event the wheel, here are resources that will allow to explore both modes.

Surrealist Games

For more on the surrealists and surrealist games, which include automatic writing, cut-ups, and conditionals…


A Book of Surrealist Games –  Compiled by Alastair Brotchie, edited by Mel Gooding. Shambhala Redstone Editions, 1991



Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle, or Workshop of Potential Literature, is and was a group of writers and mathematicians. Members have included Raymond Queneau, François Le Lionnais, Claude Berge, Georges Perec, and Italo Calvino. This resource has additional links and information:



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