Friday, 8 January 2016

Cav Piranesi's Lipogram

A lipogram  is a kind of constrained writing or word game consisting of paragraphs or longer works in which a particular letter or group of letters is avoided (e.g. A Void by Perec). Other types of constrained writing include limiting a text to a specific number of letters. For esoteric reasons Professor Mundeign's catalogue includes the life of Cav Piranesi, the brilliant Italian artist famous for his etchings of Rome and of fictitious and atmospheric "prisons", as one of the texts in the catalogue limited to 100 words. The biothought appears as follows:

As a child Piranesi was introduced to ancient civilizations, and later studied as an architect. In Rome he learned etching and engraving, and from the mid 1740s produced a series of views of the city, such as Le Antichità Romane de' tempo della prima Repubblica e dei primi imperatori ("Roman Antiquities of the Time of the First Republic and the First Emperors"). After being elected to the Accademia di San Luca, he opened his own printing facility, and his publication of ingenious and bizarre designs established his reputation. He died in Rome in 1778 was buried on the Aventine Hill.

Although the text includes no instance of the letters J,K or X, it cannot be considered a lipogram since these are letters of low frequency in English.

(Incidentally, in 1767 Giovanni Battista Piranesi was created a knight of the Golden Spur, which enabled him henceforth to sign himself "Cav[aliere] Piranesi".)

No comments:

Post a Comment