A highlight of April was a visit to the Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Londra in Belgrave Square for what was billed as An evening with Oplepo: surprises, inventions and literary acrobatics! This was a free event in a luxury venue that is well worth a visit.
One of the founding members of Oplepo, Raffaele Aragona, talked about the history of this Italian version of Oulipo, from its foundation in 1990 to the present day, and there were presentations by other Oplepiani, Elena Addòmine, Daniela Fabrizi, and Paolo Pergola.
The London Strings, which turned out to be a duo, performed an antonymic music piece, composed using a mysterious Oplepian algorithm. This was followed by a workshop with Daniela Fabrizi and Paolo Pergola, whereby anyone bold and swift enough could read out their scribblings to the assembly. Completing four different exercises brought the bounty shown in the photo.
One of the constraints to play with was the acrostic book or film title, which has to somehow describe the book or film. There was only a minute to come up with something, but it did garner a booklet:
There was also the univocalism, in this case only using the vowel, “e”, and making a menu:
Tench & Greens
Perch & Leeks
Peppered Eels & Swede
Whelks & Neeps
Smelt & Kelp Jelly
Blenny & Fennel Stew
Cheese & Celery
Creme de Menthe
Between the Sheets
A big incentive to push on with learning Italian and to go back to the Institute again as well.