Potential Literature Workbook was made as a research project of Typojanchi 2013, focusing on the work of OuLiPo: the “workshop of potential literature” founded in France in the 1960s. The group, including such familiar names as Georges Perec, Raymond Queneau, Italo Calvino and Marcel Duchamp, initiated unique and important experiments in the context of modern French literature, yet the work has rarely been discussed in Korea.

Consisting of writers and mathematicians, the OuLiPo group used “constraints” as a literary device. They embraced mathematics, science and biology, attempting to liberate the text previously bound to quotidian functions, to discover its new literary potentials. The constraints, which may seem limiting for creative work, were turned to a limitless creative tool available to everyone, ironically by virtue of their clear regularity.

This book consists of two parts: first, it presents writing exercises inspired by the Oulipian techniques, adapted to the Korean syntax, with detailed discussions on the used constraints. The second part contains introductory materials to OuLiPo, including some fresh translations of their pivotal essays.

  • Designer:
  • Jeon Yong Wan