This article looks into fictitious meals and the use of culinary recipe form in experimental and procedural literature, namely, works of constrained writing associated with OuLiPo (Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle). The recipe form is first scrutinized from the procedural, structural, and historical viewpoints, also concerning its lesser-known imaginative and esoteric genealogy. In addition, its connections to the notions of narrativity and fiction are discussed. The recipe's relationship to action is depicted by a simple procedural model. There is a metaphorical and conceptual, but also formal and operational, similarity between the coded procedures of cooking and writing. A recipe is a procedure, a script for an infinity of possible meals, and a literary procedure is a recipe for writing. It is not surprising, then, that Oulipian writers have utilized the recipe form in their food-related works. Four such literary recipes (by Georges Perec, Jacques Roubaud, Harry Mathews, and Alastair Brotchie) are closely examined, after discussion of key concepts of Oulipian poetics from the culinary viewpoint. The article's special point of reference is the parodic, satirical, absurd, and other humorous meanings that literary recipes often seem to produce, which is linked to the operational and structural dimensions of the recipe—its comically posited procedural form.

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