François Le Lionnais  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

François Le Lionnais (October 3, 1901March 13, 1984) was a French chemical engineer and mathematician, perhaps best known as a founder of the literary movement Oulipo.

Le Lionnais was born in Paris. A Dada poet in the 1920s, he became director of a large industrial concern, the Forges d'Aquiny, at age 26. Active in the French Resistance in World War II, he became a professor at the Ecole de Guerre after the war, and in subsequent years head of the Division of Teaching and Diffusion of Sciences at UNESCO, scientific advisor to the National Museums, and Regent of the Collège de ‘Pataphysique.

He co-founded Oulipo in 1960 with Raymond Queneau, and during later years augmented it with a series of analogous organizations including Oulipopo (detective fiction), Oumupo (music), Oupeinpo (painting), Oucinépo (film), and Oucuipo (cooking).

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