Oulipo: A Primer of Potential Literature
This is an amazing anthology of writings by members of the group known as Oulipo, including, among others, Italo Calvino, Harry Mathews, Georges Perec, Jacques Roubaud, and Raymond Queneau. Put simply, this group, which was founded in Paris in 1960, approaches creative writing in a way that still has yet to make its impact in the United States and its creative writing programs.
Rather than inspiration, rather than experience, rather than self-expression, the Oulipians viewed imaginative writing as an exercise dominated by what they called "constraints." Quite commonly, they would attempt to write stories, for instance, in which strict rules had to be imposed and followed (for example, Georges Perec's notorious novel A Void, which was written without the use of the letter "e").
While a major contribution to literary theory, Oulipo is perhaps most distinguished as an indispensable guide to writers.