The Exquisite Corpse

The wonderful thing about my job is that with all my searching for new stock to buy for the Library I often stumble across really interesting and quirky bits of information.  Today I learnt about “An exquisite corpse”

An Exquisite Corpse is an old game in which people write a phrase on a sheet of paper, fold it over to conceal part of it and pass it on to the next player to do the same. The game ends when someone finishes the story, which is then read aloud.

The Stinky cheeseman and other fairly stupid tales. By Jon Scieszka
The Stinky cheeseman and other fairly stupid tales. By Jon Scieszka

Jon Scieszka,  a well known children’s author has written the first episode in this story, and he has passed it on to other well known writers and illustrators, who will eventually bring the story to an end.  The next writer is Katherine Paterson.

This is a rather intriguing idea, and for the life of me I have no idea how it can possibly all come together to make something coherent and readable.  However, seeing as  The Exquisite Corpse Adventure is a project of the Center for the Book (which is part of the Library of Congress), the National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance, (an American organisation that promote literacy and Libraries) and is obviously including some really good authors, then I may well subscribe to the RSS feed to get weekly updates.  The story will conclude a year from now.

5 thoughts on “The Exquisite Corpse

  1. cliniclulu 30 September 2009 / 3:21 pm

    This is an awesome project. I love the exquisite corpse and have had lots of great experiences with it. It was invented by the surrealists, who also created a lot of other great mind-opening goodies that are well worth a try, for artists and non-artists – they make great party games.

  2. jane 1 October 2009 / 9:49 am

    Yes, I have a memory of playing this game as an exerise at school, just never knew what it was called. I like the idea of the author’s just letting the whole thing evolve and see what happens.

  3. sweet pea 1 October 2009 / 1:23 pm

    What a fantastic idea! Thanks for sharing this information, I am certainly going to keep my eye on this 😉

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