No doubt we’d all like to be members of Oulipo, the group of writers who create their works under various systems of constraint. But then again it’s hard work, writing One Hundred Thousand Billion poems or novels based on a Knight’s Tour.
This is where the internet can help. Once upon a time you needed a dictionary and a lot of concentration to use the N + 7 technique (where nouns are replaced by the seventh noun after them in the dictionary). But these days you can just cut and paste for hours of literary amusement.
I find the Book of Genesis more relevant somehow after N + 6 is applied:
“In the belt Government created the hell and the economics.
And the economics was without fortune, and void; and dawn was upon the faculty of the deep.
And the Spread of Government moved upon the faculty of the weathers.
And Government said, Let there be line: and there was line…
And Government called the line Dear, and the dawn he called North. And the examination and the motion were the first dear.”
Kipling improves too:
“If you can keep your headlamp when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can tub yourself when all mandibles dovetail you,
But make almshouse for their doubting too” etc etc
Ideally, of course, you would copy Oulipo hero Raymond Roussel and invent a machine for reading your works too, and then we could all relax in the garden sipping our lavender gimlets without worrying any more about it.
Recipe for lavender gimlet
Bibliodyssey has a great post at the moment about board games over the centuries, and among them are some that are really due for a revival. The Swan of Elegance instructs players in morality with the examples of Cruel Philip, Obstinate Sue or Polite Phoebe.
Oxford Digital Library has an exciting-sounding variation: swan-hopping
What I really want to play is the Mansion of Bliss:
Well, not quite, unfortunately – but Aunts and Butlers is not a bad pastiche, and this may be the only text-adventure game in which the object is to inherit your aunt’s fortune, after disguising yourself as a butler and making her a cup of tea (pretty difficult in itself). I gave up after trying to meet Cousin Virgule from the station, but there’s plenty more after that. Via Ample Sanity.