for the literary group Ouvroir
de Litterature Potentielle
. translated as Workshop for Potential Literature
founded in France on 24 November 1960 by a group of writers, mathematicians, and academics.
initially developed due to discussions over Raymond Queneau
's 100,000,000,000,000 Sonnets
, and the possibilities of incorporating mathematical structures in literary works.
The official aim of Oulipo is 'to invent (or reinvent) restrictions of a formal nature and propose them to enthusiasts interested in composing literature.'
another definition: An Oulipian
author is a rat who himself builds the maze from which he sets out to escape
(some material quoted from Oulipo Compendium
ed. by Harry Mathews & Alastair Brotchie)