Limitations have historically freed writers to come up with something new in terms of content or form. The French oulipo famously played with constraint-based writing in the 1960s and beyond. In more recent times, writers as various as Dr. Seuss, Sheila Heti, Josh Ferris, Stuart Dybek, and Rick Moody have used an intentionally limited vocabulary, an imperative around a central phrase or image, strategic repetition, and other constraints to create work that transcends the cleverness of its initial conceit to succeed as literature. Spark discusses the use and impact of constraint in works by Mark Dunn, Charles Baxter’s There’s Something I Want You to Do, Edward P. Jones, and others.
701 Warren Wilson Rd. Swannanoa, NC 28778
[email protected] (828) 771-3715