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plagiarism by anticipation


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  • "The Oulipo described their work as analysis and synthesis. Anoulipo involved seeking out texts written using literary constraints since the beginning of the alphabet. The intention, according to Le Lionnais, is “to find possibilities that often exceed those their authors had anticipated.�? (Motte Oulipo 27) When an experiment that had been undertaken by a member of the Oulipo was found to have been tried in history, the previous attempt was called “plagiarism by anticipation.�? This joke suggests that the Oulipo considered their forms to be not entirely their intellectual property. These “plagiarists�? were acknowledged and honored. Georges Perec's “The History of the Lipogram�? traces the lipogram back to the origin of the alphabet with astonishing detail, including how many copies of certain texts he believes are still in existence."

    --from an essay by William Gillespie

    October 20, 2008