Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2021

Publication Title

Cincinnati Romance Review


Abstract: ∈ is a book of sonnets written by the French mathematician and poet Jacques Roubaud. The book draws inspiration from a myriad of sources, most prominently from a game of GO played between Masami Shinohara and Mitsuo Takei recorded by the GO Review magazine in April 1965. Roubaud himself encourages the readers of ∈ to read the book in multiple different orders, which the article identifies as the diagram order, the pagination order, the GO order, and the random order. This article analyzes the patterns and inconsistencies that appear when the book is read in the different orders suggested by the author. It concludes that by introducing new constraints to his poetry, Roubaud uses ∈ as a ludic interface, inviting the reader to use the poems as an immersive game through which to challenge his or her own understanding of the relationship between games, science, and literature.