Eunoia is a Greek word meaning "beautiful thinking". It is also the title of a univocal lipogram in five parts by the contemporary/experimental Canadian poet Christian Bök

Awkward grammar appals a craftsman. 

The concept of Bök's book is this: each of the five sections is named for each of the five vowels and contains only words with that vowel. So there's a chapter A, E, I, O and U. Each section contains it's own mood: A is warlike and clanging, E is sweet yet relentless, I is nihilistic bliss, O is shroomy brown blooms and U is cumulus puns and fun.

Enfettered, these sentences repress free speech.

First published in 2001 by Coach House Books with assistance from the Canadian Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council, this 69 page poem in five parts was seven years in the making. Bök also received assistance from the Toronto Arts Council while composing this work and won the 2002 Griffin Poetry Prize for his efforts. Portions of the work previously appeared in various literary journals.

Writing is inhibiting. . . . Isn't it glib? Isn't it chic?

Constructing Eunoia began as any other lipogram does: a series of lists. Bök made lists of many, many univocal words and then sorted them by part of speech and connotation. To unite each section, Bök included the following themes in each: a reference to the act of writing, a feast, debauchery, land and sea. For the sake of rhythm, each line employs syntatical parallelism to form internal rhyme. For the sake of unity, the letter Y is suppressed.

Books form cocoons of comforttombs to hold bookworms.

Bök chose the word "Eunoia" for his project because it is the shortest word in the English language to contain all five vowels. Five other poems appear in this book, after Eunoia under the title Oiseau—the French word for "bird" which shares this property. In this second part there is a short poem called "And Sometimes" (where the only vowel used is Y), the longer "Vowels" (a poem in which each word makes use only of the letters in its title), Voile—a "homophonic translation" of Rimbaud's Voyelles and two poems for Georges Perec: one championing the letter W (it being a consonant containing a vowel sound) and Emended Excess, a further nod to his A Void

Such tumult upturns unsunk hulls; thus gulfs crush us, gulp, dunk us -- burst lungs succumb.

Oulipian Harry Mathews has sung the praises of Bök's achievement and Samuel R. Delany called it "a novel that will drive everybody sane." An excerpt of Eunoia is available from the publisher's website. The book's ISBN is 1-55245-092-9 and costs 16.95 USD. The entire 105 page book is well worth your time and money for good wordplay.

(the words in italics above are Bök's.)

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.