A delicious, witty and suitably bizarre rediscovered classic from the modern French master, Georges Perec.
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Published: 03 March 2011
Genre: General & literary fiction
so having weighed the pros and cons you've decided to approach your boss to ask for that well-earned raise in salary but before you schedule the all-important meeting you decide to dip into this handy volume in the hope of finding some valuable tips but instead find a hilarious, mind-bending farcical account of all the many different things that may or may not happen on the journey to see your boss which uses no punctuation or capitalisation and certainly no full stops.Georges Perec famously wrote a whole novel without using the letter 'e'. Now, in this playful short novel, brilliantly translated by David Bellos, Perec once again dispenses with the normal rules for literary compostion, with similarly pyrotechnic results.
This Parisian-born author is famous, not to say notorious, for his puns, parody, circular plotting, skittish wit and word-wizardry of all sorts
To read Georges Perec one must be ready to abandon oneself to a spirit of play. His books are studded with intellectual traps, allusions and secret systems, and they are prodigiously entertaining
Perec is serious fun
Perec was a polymathic genius, and his early death in 1982 (he was only 45) robbed France of its most dazzling experimental writer, one who tried everything and failed at nothing...He has, deservedly, become a cult in France, particularly with young Parisians, who instinctively (and rightly) identify him as the super-zapper, the biographer of their fragmented consumer culture, of which he was himself the creation
No punctuation, no pauses. This is the stuff of a dream comic monologue. Admirers of Perec will love the razor-sharp whimsy of this clever little tract, which could be so well delivered by a gifted stand-up such as Dylan Moran...In common with Thomas Pynchon, Perec had a love of literary devices, particularly catalogues, lists and descriptions of objects. Riddles, pubs, allusions and games dominate his work, Above all, though, for all the cleverness there is the punchy comic timing and an engaging humanity
Eileen Battersby, Irish Times
More importantly, he's both celebrating and mocking the absurdly complex thinking that the human brain engages in while performing even the most simple of tasks. So on the basis of all this, can a computer create a work of art? In the end probably not, but when Perec's at the keyboard, it's a lot of fun watching it try
Mark Rappolt, Art Review
A satire for the author's day and oh yes our own on the subtly crushing effects of corporate life which was always after all the genius of Perec to marry a deeply humane melancholy with dazzling formal experiments of which this one is also deftly recursive simulation of the choices facing the writer of fiction as the text circles back on itself with varied refrains...delectable and philosophical office farce.
Steven Poole, Guardian
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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 ...