George Perec is the author of "Life A User's Manual". This aims to provide a comprehensive biography including a full survey of Perec's varied oeuvre, portraying an anguished, comical and ordinary man. The story begins in Eastern Europe before World War I and reaches its penultimate chapter in Australia, where Perec began drafting his last work, the thriller, "53 Days". The pearl trade, the occupation of France, the shoah, the rise and fall of the intellectual post-war France, art history, forgery, travels to Yugoslavia, Tunisia, Italy and Scotland, the Algerian War, neurophysiology, the book business and the radio, television and cinema industries provide the varied backdrops to a life rooted in historical change.
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Georges Perec was one of the finest writers of the 20th century and yet his work remains relatively obscure. He is probably best known for Life: A User's Manual a book he dedicated to his fellow avant- gardist Raymond Queneau (who, along with Harry Matthews, Italo Calvino, Perec and others, was a member of OuLiPo-- an important group of experimental writers and mathematicians). He wrote the wonderful lipogram A Void a book in which the letter "e" never appears and the world's longest palindrome (in the form of a two-and-a- half page story.) He is seen by many as a true literary genius. Bellos traces the sadness behind Perec's prodigious wordplay, his confused and tragic lineage (including his mother's demise in the death camps), his entry on to the literary scene with the anti-materialist Things, his Jewish (non-)identity. Without Bellos's translations Perec would probably have remained unknown outside of France. Without this readable, compelling, exhaustive biography his often autobiographical, highly structured fiction would be far less approachable. Georges Perec: a Life in Words is a fitting testimony to a writer we should all know better. -- Mark ThwaiteReview:
"Immense, buoyant, utterly revealing... Has achieved an overwhelmingly human portrait, as vivid as it is complex, not only of Perec but of the mechanisms, intrigues, passions and comedies of Paris intellectual life in the sixties and seventies" Richard Eder, Los Angeles Times "A vast and heartening biography that gives unfashionable weight to the subject's playfulness as a writer, for all his deep difficulties as a man" Hugo Barnacle, Independent
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Book Description The Harvill Press, 1993. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 2720221