if ('discussions' != 'syllabus')
Freedom and Constraint (posted 25 February 2004)
"The classical playwright who writes his tragedy observing a certain number of familiar rules is freer than the poet who writes that which comes into his head and who is the slave of other rules of which he is ignorant."
At first this sounds like a contradiction but then after thinking it over I decided that Queneau is essentially saying "You need to know the rules in order to break them." Knowing the rules allows you to follow them and break them--using a counter set of rules. The options then double, instead of writing in ignorance where one will surely end up with a muddle of words.
Ohh, that's an intriguing quote. You do have to know the rules in order to break them to some extent. But I would still disagree... because the classical playwright in knowing the rules has usually decided to confine himself to them. It's a different kind of mental entrapment.