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‘Les Fleurs’ are copyrighted by Peter James (@ambientabbot). They are used with his generous permission.

The cut-up technique (or découpé in French) is an aleatory literary technique in which a text is cut up and rearranged to create a new text.

Cento Technique

A cento is a poetical work wholly composed of verses or passages taken from other authors disposed in a new form or order.

The cento originated in the 3rd or 4th century C.E. The first known cento is the Medea by Hosidius Geta, composed out of Virgilian lines, according to Tertullian. However, an earlier cento might be present in Irenaeus’s late-2nd century work Adversus Haereses. He either cites or composes a cento as a demonstration of how heretical Christians modify canonical Gospels.

Ausonius (310–395) is the only poet from Antiquity to comment on the form and content of the Virgilian cento; his statements are afterward regarded as authoritative. The pieces, he says, may be taken either from the same poet, or from several. The verses may be either taken in their entirety, or divided into two, one half to be connected with another half taken elsewhere. Two verses should never be used running, nor much less than half a verse be taken. In accordance with these rules, he made a cento from Virgil, the Cento Nuptialis.

Attribution— Wikipedia: Cento_(poetry)

Tzara Technique

Cut-up is performed by taking a finished and fully linear text and cutting it in pieces with a few or single words on each piece. The resulting pieces are then rearranged into a new text, such as in poems by Tristan Tzara (4 April 1896 – 25 December 1963) as described in his short text, TO MAKE A DADAIST POEM.

Gysin Technique

Fold-in is the technique of taking two sheets of linear text (with the same linespacing), folding each sheet in half vertically and combining with the other, then reading across the resulting page, such as in The Third Mind. It was first invented by Brion Gysin (19 January 1916 – 13 July 1986)

Attribution— Wikipedia: Cut-up Technique