Oulipost #25: Larding

Today’s challenge: “Larding: AKA “line stretching.” From your newspaper text, pick two sentences. Add a new sentence between the first two; then two sentences in the new intervals that have become available; and continue to add sentences until the passage has attained the length desired. The supplementary sentences must either enrich the existing narrative or create a new narrative continuity.”

To complete this challenge, I selected a variety of sentences from the articles referenced below.  I took the liberty of using selected phrases on occasion, and also omitted one or more words in a given phrase.  For this challenge, I’ve decided to show my work, so the reader can see the process.

Typical American Themes

He has long been an orphan.
There are a lot of big-picture questions.

He has long been an orphan.
An open birdcage inscribed “DIOS.”
There are a lot of big-picture questions.

He has long been an orphan.
It was the scene of a smashup in progress.
An open birdcage inscribed “DIOS.”
In the anxious smiles of others,
there are a lot of big-picture questions.

He has long been an orphan.
An era of lost illusions had begun.
It was the scene of a smashup in progress.
The sinister was subliminal at first.
An open birdcage inscribed “DIOS,”
much that seems cold and cynical
in the anxious smiles of others.
We’re in hell almost as soon as we arrive.
There are a lot of big-picture questions.

He has long been an orphan.
The clues are there from the start.
An era of lost illusions had begun.
It’s hard not to feel some sympathy for him.
It was the scene of a smashup in progress.
The numbered stickers were everywhere.
The sinister was subliminal at first.
There’s something unnerving about the exhibition of a corpse.
An open birdcage inscribed “DIOS.”
It does put a damper on the festivities,
much that seems cold and cynical.
They’re clean and pale, as aristocrats once were.
In the anxious smiles of others,
we occasionally forget that we’re heading into the abyss.
We’re in hell almost as soon as we arrive.
Relax – loosen up- be yourself!
There are a lot of big-picture questions.

Sources from the 04/25/14 New York Times. Barry, Dan. “Going, Going…” pp B10 and B19. Brantley, Ben. “Old Chums Return, Where The Club is Home,” pp. C1 and C15. Cotter, Holland. “Most Wanted, Most Haunted,” pp. C21 and C25. Dargis, Manohla. “Mom, That Fugitive Nazi is Making Faces at Me,” p. C10. Garner, Dwight. “The Office Space We Love to Hate,” pp. C21 and C29. Repold, Nicholas. “Searching For The Life That Belonged to a Body,” P. C10. Rosenberg, Karen. “That Little Lost Boy in Red, Back With His Family,” p.C26. Smith, Roberta. “James Franco,” p. C28. Stevenson, Alexandra & de la Merced, Michael. “Bare Knuckles at an Auction House,” pp. B1 and B6.

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4 thoughts on “Oulipost #25: Larding

  1. I found the building fascinating. At first I thought that was your form, then realised it was the building to the final result. But, I like it from beginning to end of the building, in its effect.

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