ottos mops

December 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

ottos mops trotzt
otto: fort mops fort
ottos mops hopst fort
otto: soso

otto holt koks
otto holt obst
otto horcht
otto: mops mops
otto hofft

ottos mops klopft
otto: komm mops komm
ottos mops kommt
ottos mops kotzt
otto: ogottogott

– Ernst Jandl

This lipogram about Otto and his dog has no great English translation, so I’ve left it in German. Since the sound is the sense, one only has to listen to appreciate the story (it ends in pug puke):


June 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

Is love
so evil?
Is Eve? Lo,
love vies,
evolves. I
lose selves,
sylphs of
loose Levi’s,
sieve oil of
vile sloe.
Love sighs,
slives. O
veils of
voile, so
sly, so suave.
O lives,
soil sleeves,
I love so
I solve.

– A. E. Stallings

There is a children’s game where Kid A mouths the words “olive juice” to Kid B who immediately misreads the lip movements as “I love you”. Hilarity ensues.

Chapter A

April 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

an excerpt

– Christian Bök

Both of these paragraph-stanzas are taken from Eunoia, Bök’s univocalic magnum opus. Each chapter (there are five) uses one vowel, exhausts the lexicon of eligible words, and must contain, as described by Bök, “a culinary banquet, a prurient debauch, a pastoral tableau, and a nautical voyage” among several other things.

Eunoia‘s musicality and shifting rhythms are apparent. Its allusions and in-jokes reward re-reading. Beyond these things, though, one notices that each chapter — each vowel — has a distinct texture. “Chapter A” is the result of a radical fatwa against paragraphs that use vowels other than A, and as it chronicles Hassan’s ambulatory adventures, the reader realizes that A is a no-nonsense sort of letter most suitable for war stories and acts of ultra-violence. Even the above selections, with all of their food and music talk, approach their subjects in a reserved manner. E, I, O, and U would later unleash the loopiness.

“A gangland fad that attacks what Brahms and Franck call art” must be Bök’s preemptive jab at myopic critics who dismiss the kind of experimentation contained in Eunoia.

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