Roubaud's number on numbers
Abstract:This article considers the significance of mathematical patterns in the poetry and prose of Jacques Roubaud, a leading Oulipian whose image as a poet-mathematician is now so well-known that almost every study of his work mentions both dimensions of the man. In particular, the article seeks to rescue discussion of mathematics in his texts from a merely descriptive or mechanical account of its origin in constraints. Number plays a major role in Roubaud's practice of versification as well as in texts such as the programmatic 'Project' the author sketched out for himself, offering a holistic way to represent the world. In this perspective, numbers function as personal signifiers, and their spiritual significance for him is as least as important as the role they play as oulipian tools.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: December 1, 2007
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- Journal of Romance Studies promotes innovative critical work in the areas of linguistics, literature, performing and visual arts, media, material culture, intellectual and cultural history, critical and cultural theory, psychoanalysis, gender studies, social sciences, and anthropology. The primary focus is on those parts of the world that speak, or have spoken, French, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese, but work on other cultures may be included. Issues cross national and disciplinary boundaries in order to stimulate new ways of thinking about cultural history and practice.
Published in Association with the Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London.
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