Ophelia in 483 Words

Over at Literary Hub they’ve republished my interview with Paul Griffiths from Music & Literature Issue 7. This is a fairly long and in-depth interview with Griffiths about his novel let me tell you. (Bless Music & Literature for publishing a nearly 7,000-word interview and Literary Hub for taking it whole.)

The key thing about let me tell you is that it is a constrained novel that is limited to the 483 words Ophelia utters in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Incredibly, Griffiths makes a remarkably rich psychological novel out of this with language that is utterly beautiful.

Griffiths is not a member of the Oulipo, and as such he coincides with one of the theses of The End of Oulipo?, which is that most of the interesting work along Oulipian lines is being done outside of the Oulipo these days (with some exceptions).

Anyway, i encourage you all to read the interview, as I think Griffiths will make you see language in new ways—that was my experience in corresponding with him. And do read the book: it is a very beautiful, original novel.

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