1) “The only literature is voluntary literature.

If I may refer to the henceforth famous dictum in Odile, we can add to this notion the considerable consequences resulting from the fact that: The really inspired person is never inspired, but always inspired. What does this mean? What? This thing so rare, inspiration, this gift of the gods which makes the poet, and which this unhappy man never quite deserves in spite of all his heartaches, this enlightenment coming from who knows where, is it possible that it might cease to be capricious, and that any and everybody might find it faithful and compliant to his desires? The serious revolution, the sudden change this simple sentence introduced into a conception of literature still wholly dominated by romantic effusions and the exaltation of subjectivity, has never been fully analyzed. In fact, this sentence implied the revolutionary conception of the objectivity of literature, and from that time forward opened the latter to all possible modes of manipulation. In short, like mathematics, literature could be explored.”

2) “Deep thanks to Richard O’Russa and Situations Press for the republication of several pages from O’Russa’s Elastic Latitudes. The section “Zeros and Ones” was written directly out of a process of copying the pages of Elastic Latitudes, a typewriter-written poem made entirely of the numbers 0 and 1, into duplicate lines with the numbers spelled out. By the end of each page I would be in a trance-like empty state and write what turned out to be all the poems that make up that middle section.”

1. Jean Lescure, “Brief History of the Oulipo,” Oulipo: A Primer of Potential Literature, ed. Warren F. Motte, Jr. (Illinois State University: Dalkey Archive Press, 1986), 34.

2. Anselm Berrigan, Zero Star Hotel, (Washington D.C.: Edge Books, 2002), copyright page. This quote is from the thanks/acknowledgements section.

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