A comprehensive, yet not complete, look at Oulipo (Workshop for Potential Literature), its members, some of their works, and its writing strategies/thA comprehensive, yet not complete, look at Oulipo (Workshop for Potential Literature), its members, some of their works, and its writing strategies/theories/experiments. Also includes sections on some of the other Ou-x-po groups, like Oulipopo and Oupeinpo....more
A quick and funny review of many grammar and punctuation rules. Nice to have on hand if you don't have a proper grammar/writing guide, and the humor kA quick and funny review of many grammar and punctuation rules. Nice to have on hand if you don't have a proper grammar/writing guide, and the humor keeps you interested and explains things clearer than other guides might, but sometimes even her explanations don't make sense. Oftentimes I find myself wondering what point she's trying to make, or thinking that her explanation seems to contradict her rule. Still, good enough to have as a cheap guide.
Eight-ish years later and I'm rereading the book. It's still a quick and funny review of grammar and punctuation rules, perfect for if you don't really know the rules, or if you want a quick reference. However, if you're more of a grammar geek/snob, and/or if you have other grammar and punctuation references or style books, this book is kind of useless. It's funny, sure, but the other sources are more thorough.
In my original review, I said that sometimes Casagrande's explanations don't make sense and that she seems to contradict herself. On my second reading, it's not so much that her explanations don't make sense or contradict each other, it's that the general rules don't make sense or contradict each other. Oftentimes, she says that one style manual says one thing but another style manual says another thing. So, really, the overall rule of her book is: "Eh. Who knows."
So if you're a grammar geek or word nerd who's read other style books and grammar guides, you probably don't need to read this. If you're just curious about language, though, and need a quick reference, this book will work fine....more
I'm a bit conflicted about how to rate this one. If you asked me how I felt about it, I'd say "Eh, it was ok," but if you asked me to rate it on a scaI'm a bit conflicted about how to rate this one. If you asked me how I felt about it, I'd say "Eh, it was ok," but if you asked me to rate it on a scale of 0-5, I'd give it a nice 2.5 down the middle. Since Goodreads uses 1-5, I gave it a 2, to go with the "meh" feelings, rather than the 3 down the middle of the road. Anyway...
I felt like it was an interesting attempt at one of those "How to read books critically"-type books, but more geared towards writers rather than readers. Unfortunately, I also felt like it fell short at times. I don't need a book to hit me over the head with the points it's making, but sometimes it just felt like ... well, a not-so-good college essay attempting to close read certain books/passages. It's like you could feel that her point was there, somewhere, it just wasn't clear.
I also think this was written from the standpoint of not being quite a substitute for a writing workshop, but sort of. Sort of a stand-in for workshopping your writing, or sort of a pre-workshop checklist, or a guide to writing. The one chapter I felt was (or could be) really helpful to a writer was the chapter on gestures: Make sure when you write gestures for your characters, they're necessary. No unneeded gestures, or no unneeded descriptions of gestures. And observe people around you, and the gestures they make, and what situations they're in when they make those gestures. Other than that, overall I felt like the book was just meh. Nothing new, nothing groundbreaking, nothing memorable. But maybe it would make a good guide to have next to you when you're writing your first book, or hit some writer's block when writing a subsequent book....more