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Two intriguing and poignant novellas, Perec’s first published works, show him forging the iconoclastic literary style that fully emerges in his magisterial Life: A. My journey into the literature of this month sees the appearance of another of my favourite writers, Georges Perec. In Perec’s career. You are sitting, naked from the waist up, wearing only pajama bottoms, in your garret, on the narrow bench that serves as your bed, with a book. Raymond Aron’s.

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Both of these stories are unlike anything I’ve ever read before. The novella — short, in any case — is surprisingly brisk and amusing, and not just a litany of complaint or self-doubt.

Media slogans and trendy magazines dictate the luxuries they would buy if they had money. I will more thoroughly re-read it at some point and give it the proper review it deserves. Melancholy about life, torn photographs and lost memories, artists doing their best to create, layered perspectives about each person over time and place, and so on.

My next one will be W or The Memory of Childhood which is another example of emotion hiding beneath the tricks of narrative. Yeah, I actually think about stuff like that, and yeah it burns my biscuits. They wanted life’s enjoyment, but all around them enjoyment was equated with ownership. Then he is caught, well and truly caught. At the surface, it seems to be only a story about materialism and consumerism, but look at it deeper and it’s also an extension of or a response to the existentialist writings of philosophers such as Sartre or Camus.

A bit long but interesting afterwards. Fast forward half a century later, I’ll have my morning coffee at Starbucks, or at the Figaro nearby, and I would be amidst young people, like the characters in this book, and I’ll see them tinkering with their latest electronic gadgets, wearing their fashionable clothes, their branded shoes and bags; overhear them talk about their most recent weekend nightouts, who is now going out with whom, their plans for the summer, a trip somewhere, sex beaches, shopping destinations in nearby countries, all the while sipping their cups and puffing thier smokes like movie stars, then when they get exhausted doing the leisurely and remember they need to sleep, will step out, hail a taxi, satisfied that they’ve escaped the misery of taking much cheaper public transport bus, jeep as what they did when they were still studying –all of them out of call centers after their evening shift.



The rise of a wealthy consumer society and the various industries to support it, exemplified by a couple in their 20s striving to attain an idealized life-style while hoping to somehow escape what they consider the bourgeois trap, is a story mirrored in many subsequent cities and decades.

For a brief shining moment Things by Georges Perec stood on my real-life to-be-read shelf next to Flings by Justin Taylor, and I had aslee a mind to go the whole hog and buy Strings by Allison Dickson and Wings by Aprilyne Pike to go with them.

You’re getting out while the going’s good.

Even their emotional life, to a considerable extent, depended on it directly. Speechless lips, dead eyes.

A Man Asleep – Wikipedia

They had aged; yes, they had. The author, if still alive, would be as old as my mother.

You can leave a responseor trackback from your own site. Dismal walks to pointless places. Because the character does very little, and spends days A Man Asleep was published inand translated in And what do we have in this volume? I’ve been through a pretty serious personal phase mna extreme apathy and depression myself. But your refusal is futile.


Things: A Story of the Sixties & A Man Asleep – David R. Godine, Publisher

Further constraints applied, but I’m not terribly interested in exploring them here. I admit they weren’t hugely to my taste, but they were well written and an interesting study in contrasts.

The only two people in the book who attract the narrator’s attention are a possibly psychotic man in a park, who does nothing but sit and stare, and the narrator’s neighbor in the garret, whom he hears through the wall. Neither coming from somewhere nor going anywhere: I know I’ve used that word too much already in this review, but I’m at a loss–I was really uninterested in this book. Both merge towards the end when the common theme of the Holocaust is explained.

Forging his trademark iconoclastic literary style that fully emerges in later work, his technique of crowding fictional space with an abundance of almost rococo richly details and decor is also apparent here.

Things a Man Asleep

Retrieved from ” https: I stopped speaking and only silence replied. Such an outlook on life is generally not much appreciated in modern times: I walked and walked, because there was nothing else for me to do, and by degrees the light asleeo to fade. A Users Manual egorges later. As with other Perec books, sometimes the nature of the experiment doesn’t interest me that one book where he wrote everything without an “E” for instance.

Everything is ready for your death: Or, as Perec says: Nothing will ever happen. And, taking it mistakenly to be a consolation, he falls into the trap of hire-purchase.