Ruminations on books and libraries

Jacques Jouet first came into contact with OuLiPo at the Fondation Royaumont library in 1978, when he attended a writing course run by Paul Fournel, Georges Perec, and Jacques Roubaud. He now draws on anecdotes, quotations, and OuLiPo-style inventions such as the poem-library to give a witty account of the virtuous –or vicious– circle that goes from book production and literary creation to building up collections and accumulating books, symbolised by the encircling library walls. Jacques Jouet thinks of libraries as both the cradle and grave of writing, writers, and books, and describes them in terms of their aptitude not only for sorting the order of knowledge, but also undermining it.