Jean-Jacques Poucel is Associate Professor of French at Yale University where he teaches courses in modern and contemporary literature. He is the author of Jacques Roubaud and the Invention of Memory (UNC Press, 2006) and co-editor of Pereckonings: Reading Georges Perec (Yale French Studies 105). He is currently writing a study of French lyrical poetry from the early nineties to the present.
Curator’s Note: In this special feature of Drunken Boat, I have attempted to bear witness to several facts: that the Oulipo has authoritatively demonstrated the viability of thinking and realizing potentiality through the use of literary constraints, that this demonstration resonates with many skilled para-Oulipians who pursue similar strategies, and that the Oulipian excursions into fields of potentiality have encouraged artists and thinkers in other realms to embark on their own conscious experiments in freedom. What better place to stage this exposition than in an online journal whose namesake, Arthur Rimbaud, once promised to recount the latent birth of vowels?