My name is Andrew Benbow. I am a full-stack web developer based in Asheville, North Carolina, and this is my new blog. Here, I will post life updates, software tutorials, thoughts about books I’ve been reading, and maybe the occasional baking recipe.
When I’m not writing software, one of my primary interests is the Oulipo literature movement. Oulipo is a French literary movement that tries to impose arbitrary (and sometimes mathematical) constraints on writing in the hopes of challenging writers to think outside of the box and inspire unique works of art.
A popular Oulipian constraint is a lipogram, a constraint that asks an author to avoid writing a particular glyph, symbol (also possibly a “char” or, colloquially, an “alpha-bit”). A popular variation of this constraint asks authors to avoid that horrid fifth glyph of Latin script that follows “d” and is in front of “f”.
In fact, a handful of authors took this constraint as far as publishing full works of fiction without that symbol. In that spirit, I own an account on oulipo.social, a Mastodon spot that bans that fifth glyph and all allusions to it (such as using symbols that look all too similar). Stop by and say hi!
Some of my favorite personal projects revolve around the work done in the Oulipo, so you can expect to see some content about their work and other related art and literature oddities in this blog.
I will be allowing comments on all of my blog posts into the foreseeable future, so please feel free to say hello!