Georges Perec: A Life in Words

Front Cover
Random House, Nov 30, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 832 pages
0 Reviews

"It's hard to see how anyone is ever going to better this User's Manual to the life of Georges Perec" - Gilbert Adair, Sunday Times

Winner of the Prix Goncourt for Biography, 1994

George Perec (1936-82) was one of the most significant European writers of the twentieth century and undoubtedly the most versatile and innovative writer of his generation.

David Bellos's comprehensive biography - which also provides the first full survey of Perec's irreverent, polymathic oeuvre - explores the life of an anguished, comical and endearingly modest man, who worked quietly as an archivist in a medical research library. The French son of Jewish immigrants from Poland, he remained haunted all of his life by his father's death in the war, fighting to defend France, and his mother's in Auschwitz-Birkenau. His acclaimed novel A Void (1969) - written without using the letter "e" - has been seen as an attempt to escape from the words "père", "mere", and even "George Perec".

His career made an auspicious start with Things: A Story of the Sixties (1965), which won the Prix Renaudot. He then pursued an idiosyncratic and ambitious literary itinerary through the intellectual ferment of Paris in the 1960s and 1970s.He belonged to the Ouvrior de Littérature Potentielle (OuLiPo), a radically inventive group of writers whose members included Raymond Queneau and Italo Calvino. Perec achieved international celebrity with Life A User's Manual (1978), which won the Prix Medicis and was voted Novel of the Decade by the Salon du Livre. He died in his mid-forties after a short illness, leaving a truly puzzling detective novel, 53 Days, incomplete.

"Professor Bellos's book enables us at once to relish the most wilfully bizarre aspects of Perec's oeuvre and to understand the whys and wherefores of his protean nature" - Jonathan Romney, Literary Review

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

19361965
3
Lubartéw Lublin Vienna
27
The Collapse of France
38
VichyAuschwitz
51
VillarddeLans
63
2
68
Hotel Lutetia
83
Rue de lAssomption
89
Chapter 4 Happiness
404
Places of Safety
413
Into Reverse
425
The Constraint of Time 43 5
435
I Remember
448
Like a Dog
463
A Year in Splinters
475
Avenue de Segur
501

Chapter 0 Etampes
101
Open Doors
110
Books at Blévy
121
3 Tilt
147
Chapter l6 Music Art and Good Advice
184
Coherence and Paul Klee
224
Rue de Quatrefages
232
Sfax 2 40
246
19751982
247
The Great Adventure 2 84
284
Things
298
First Prize
305
9651975
319
Without a Tie
325
Chapter 3 Retum to Sfax 3 30
334
OuLiPoanderSaar
344
Perec in Fashion 3 5 3
353
OuLiPosurSeine 3 59
359
Perec on Air
373
RadioPercc
386
Llmaginaliori au Poutair
398
Rue SimonCrubellier
507
On Location
518
Esartuniloc
527
Chapter 2 MI
538
Rue Linne
556
Catherine
565
Hiding and Showing
586
A View of the Works
596
Friends and Relations
609
Life A Users Manual
619
Launch into Orbit
636
Working for the Screen
652
The Artist on his Trapeze
662
Perec the Poet
669
Beaux Présents
677
Fiftythree Days in Australia
679
The Murder of Robert Serval
697
Things to Do Before I Die
706
The Works of Georges Pem
717
Index of Perus Tiller 7SI Index of Names
757
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2010)

David Bellos is Professor of French and Comparative Literature and Director of the Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication at Princeton University. He is well known for his many translations and for his biographies Georges Perec: A Life in Words and Jacques Tati. David Bellos was awarded the first Man Booker International Translator's Prize in 2005 for his translations of Ismail Kadare's novels.

Bibliographic information