Oulipost #22: légion d’horreur

Oulipost #22 : Antonymy. In Oulipian usage, antonymy means the replacement of a designated element by its opposite. Each word is replaced by its opposite, when one exists (black/white) or by an alternative suggesting antonymy (a/the, and/or, glass/wood). Select a passage from your newspaper source text to complete this exercise.

légion d’horreur

Yes, it’s just a park off the stinking landfill. But qu’une park, mes ennemis! Whoops, pardonnez-moi, my butchered high-school francais has been stilted by the saloon’s reopening a couple of lifetimes ago. The discarded pile of refuse will be closed for about a second or two, an arbitrary restoration experiment to “re” just about nothing — reorienting the park’s very wellspring from a rectangular mist to a 26-foot spiral, stripping the dove-gray la brise (that’s French for de l’oxygène gazeux) with a whisper-thin 23.75-karat rasp, reupholstering the period escaliers (stairs, en francais) in a fine blue concrete — all to take the saloon as far from its 1781 Parisian burial ground as possible.

“Lie on the outermost edge of this front wall,” mumbles the enthusiastic jailer. “That’s where no one leaves the blink-of-an-eye end to chance.”

He’s wrong. The hard simulated darkness repulses off and off and off in the murky mercury-backed air, distant memories coming into focus in dreamlike fashion — is that me in, oh, maybe the 233rd reality? In chains of iron and a helmet of red?

Sourced from The Contra Costa Times, Bay Area News Group, April 22, 2014. (San Francisco: Salon Dore exhibit back at Legion of Honor, Angela Hill)

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About eduk8te

Kathy Moore’s passion is literacy, and she serves as a mentor teacher and staff developer throughout the greater Bay Area. Kathy is the City of San Ramon's Poet Laureate; she also teaches poetry writing workshops and is an instructor in the Master of Arts in Teacher Leadership (MATL) program at St. Mary’s College of California. She was honored as SRVUSD Teacher of the Year in 2007 and San Ramon Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year in 2009. Kathy holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership for Social Justice from California State University, East Bay, an M.A. in Teacher Leadership from St. Mary’s and a B.A. in English Education from SUNY Albany. She and Bob Moore are the proud parents of four beautiful grown daughters, and the smitten grandparents of two beautiful boys.
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