As his country is torn apart by social and political anarchy, Anton Vowl, a chronic insomniac, disappears. Ransacking his Paris flat, a group of his faithful companions trawl through his diary for any indication, for any faint hint, as to his location.
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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, 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.From Publishers Weekly:
OuLiPians (members of Ouvroir de Litterature Potentielle) once defined themselves as rats who must build the labyrinth from which they propose to escape. Perec's labyrinth in La Disparition was a lipogram omitting the letter "e." Lipograms are an old device, but what makes Perec's effort unique is the length and the fact that, despite its experimental nature, this works as a fun book, a sort of spoof on detective fiction. When the troubled Anton Vowl mysteriously disappears, his friends, led by Amaury Conson, try to find clues. Gathered at the great house of Azincourt, they uncover forbidden passions, an ancient curse, unsuspected relationships and an unending supply of dead bodies. Amaury's search for Anton is a premise: the reader's real conundrum is untangling the logogriph of A Void's multiple hints and references. Some are numerical/alphabetical (there is no chapter five out of 26); some require knowledge of French and other literature (one lipogram without "a"s or "e"s is by fellow OuLiPian Raymond Queneau); others are simply amusing ("An amorphous mass of books and authors bombards his brain... La Disparition? Or Adair's translation of it?") In A Void, Adair has proved himself an adept translator, one fully as comfortable with Perec's sense of absurd fun as with his language.
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Book Description Havill, London, 1994. Book Condition: Very Good. 256p dark green paperback, as new. Bookseller Inventory # PAB 112782
Book Description Harvill Press, 1994. Soft cover. Book Condition: As New. No Jacket. 1st Edition. 1994 Harvill Paperback 1st Edition 1st Impression. Like New copy. Bookseller Inventory # ABE-16631602549
Book Description Harvill, 1994. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. May not contain Access Codes or Supplements. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Bookseller Inventory # 0002711184