"Something you never thought might happen: after a certain number of years the being who has read all these neglected books will step from your bookshelves, will sit down at your table (conveniently adjacent), will make a cup of coffee at the machine, having seen you use it so many times, especially when about to tackle a book, and will light a cigarette, insubstantial as steam, the odour of which will affect neither your carpets nor curtains. It will be the opposite of you, your inverse."
On 11 March I talked a bit about Oulipo with Lauren Elkin and read a story (extract above) at Shakespeare and Company Bookshop Paris. My story was inspired by George Perec's Voyage D'Hiver and its many responses, some of which can be found here, and also by Perec's and contemporary Oulipian Anne Garréta's essays on bookshelves. Referencing the Voyage D'Hiver tradition as well as hinting at Oulipo's obsession with 'potential' literature, I called it 'Un Voyage Vers...' (A Journey Towards...)
I made a limited edition of signed and numbered prints of the story, hand-lettered, with the above illustration. A few of the sepia edition of 10 are still available at the till at Shakespeare & Co. I also have an edition of 10 in rust as shown above. The print comes in the form of an A4 size booklet with the pic on the front so you can put it on your wall when you've read it if you feel inclined. If you'd like one, they're £7 - or a if it's easier buy me a book from here. The price includes postage anywhere in the world. Please get in touch by leaving a message below or emailing badaude-at-gmail-dot-com.
Here's pic from the event. Seems like we had a lot of fun.
(thanks to Shakespeare & Co for the photo)