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Anton Vowl is missing. Ransacking his Paris flat, a group of his faithful companions trawl through his diary for any hint as to his location and, insidiously, a ghost, from Vowl's... Read more
Anton Vowl is missing. Ransacking his Paris flat, a group of his faithful companions trawl through his diary for any hint as to his location and, insidiously, a ghost, from Vowl's past starts to cast its malignant shadow. This virtuoso story, chock-full of plots and subplots, shows the skill of both author and translator who impart all the action without a crucial grammatical prop: the letter 'e'.
Georges Perec (1936-82) won the Prix Renaudot in 1965 for his first novel Things: A Story of the Sixties, and went on to exercise his unrivalled mastery of language in almost every imaginable kind of writing, from the apparently trivial to the deeply personal. He composed acrostics, anagrams, autobiography, criticism, crosswords, descriptions of dreams, film scripts, heterograms, lipograms, memories, palindromes, plays, poetry, radio plays, recipes, riddles, stories short and long, travel notes, univocalics, and, of course, novels. Life: A User's Manual, which draws on many of Perec's other works, appeared in 1978 after nine years in the making and was acclaimed a masterpiece to put beside Joyce's Ulysses. It won the Prix Medicis and established Perec's international reputation.
Things: A Story of the Sixties is the story of a young couple who want to enjoy life, but the only way they know how to do so is through ownership of 'things'.In A Man Asleep, a young student embarks upon a disturbing and exhaustive pursuit of indifference, following his experience in non-existence with relentless logic.
Chapter by chapter, the narrative moves around the building revealing a marvellously diverse cast of characters in a series of every more unlikely tales, which range from an avenging murderer to an eccentric English millionaire who has devised the ultimate pastime...
Written in alternating chapters, W or the Memory of Childhood, tells two parallel tales, in two parts. The other story is about two people called Gaspard Winckler: one an eight-year-old deaf-mute lost in a shipwreck, the other a man despatched to search for him, who discovers W, an island state based on the rules of sport.
At once an affectionate portrait of mid-century Paris and a daring pointillist autobiography, this title translates into English Georges Perec's major works. It consists of 480 numbered statements, all beginning identically with "I remember," and all limited to pieces of public knowledge - brand names and folk wisdom, actors and illnesses.
Since its inception in Paris in 1960, the OuLiPo?ouvroir de littérature potentielle, or workshop for potential literature?has continually expanded our sense of what writing can do. It's produced, among many other marvels, a detective novel without the letter e (and a sequel of sorts without a, i, o, u, or y); an epic poem structured by the Parisian métro system; a story in the form of a tarot...
Perec was a leading exponent of French literary surrealism who found humour - and pathos - in the human need for classification. Thoughts of Sorts is itself unclassifiable, a unique collection of philosophical riffs on his obsession with lists, puzzles, catalogues, and taxonomies. Introduced by Margaret Drabble.
The Oulipo's members have included luminaries of the calibre of Italo Calvino, Marcel Duchamp and Georges Perec. In 1979 Georges Perec wrote a brief entertainment for a publisher's catalogue: The Winter Journey. It became his most reprinted text, and revealed an extraordinary literary discovery, a secret concealed at the heart of modern French literature. Following Perec's death, the group began...
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