DANIEL LEVIN BECKER & Co. / In Praise of Potential Literature

Thursday, May 10, 2012 - 7:30pm




What Literary Communities Can Tell Us

About the Future of Literature:


An Engaging Discussion with



In Praise of Potential Literature, joined by ROBIN SLOAN,


moderated by JOHN McMURTRIE



The Oulipo is a collective of writers and scientists founded in Paris in 1960 to explore the possibilities of using mathematical and linguistic structures to generate literature. Since its inception, it has yielded such noodle-scratching experiments as the first choose-your-own-adventure fiction in history; a mystery novel written without the letter E; a romance novel in which the respective genders of the lovers are never specified; a children’s story featuring a code that took readers over twenty-five years to decipher; a book of poems made from anagrams of the names of Parisian métro stations; and a set of ten identically rhyming sonnets printed on flaps that can be combinatorially manipulated by the enterprising reader to create, at least in theory, one hundred trillion distinct poems.



Many Subtle Channels is a book about the Oulipo from the perspective of a young American named Daniel Levin Becker, who went to Paris to learn whether these people were, you know, serious about all this, and returned a full-fledged Oulipian.


Please join him, along with Scott Esposito, Robin Sloan, Matthew Zapruder, and John McMurtrie for an evening of readings and discussions.



Daniel Levin Becker is Reviews Editor for The Believer and has been a member of the Oulipo since 2009.


Robin Sloan is a writer and media inventor, a Snarkmarket collaborator, a Twitter habitué, and the author of the forthcoming Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore


Matthew Zapruder is the author of three collections of poetry, including the recent Come On All You Ghosts, which was selected as one of the year’s top 5 poetry books by Publishers Weekly, as well as the 2010 Booklist Editors’ Choice for poetry, and the 2010 Northern California Independent Booksellers Association poetry book of the year. The recipient of a 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship, he is an editor at Wave Books, and a member of  the permanent faculty at the low residency MFA in creative writing at UCR-Palm Desert.


Scott Esposito's criticism has appeared in periodicals including The Paris Review, Tin House, Bookforum, the Los Angeles Times, The Barnes & Noble Review, and Publishers Weekly, and in books for the Dalkey Archive Press and Melville House Books. In the fall of 2011 he published Lady Chatterley's Brother, the first in a series of long essays exploring contemporary authors and literary questions. He blogs at Conversational Reading and edits The Quarterly Conversation, an online magazine of book reviews and essays.


 John McMurtrie is a journalist and has been the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle Book Review since 2008



The Booksmith at Z Space (450 Florida Street, San Francisco)

Tickets $12 at Brown Paper Tickets online, or 800-835-3006, and in the store



Many Subtle Channels: In Praise of Potential Literature Cover Image
ISBN: 9780674065772
Availability: Out of Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harvard University Press - April 30th, 2012