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Georges Perec: A Life in Words

4.32 of 5 stars 4.32  ·  rating details  ·  76 ratings  ·  7 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 comprehe
ebook, 832 pages
Published November 30th 2010 by Vintage Digital (first published January 1st 1993)
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It's a while since I read this, but I still regard it as one of the best biographies I have read. It is as good as Ellmann's biography of Joyce but, for me, it left me with a feeling that, not only did I know a lot more about this great, humane and hugely inventive writer, but that I would love to have known him. I felt terrible, and genuine, sadness at his death. Such an amazing man, so complex and so amusing. For anyone who likes Life: A User's Manual, or any of Perec's other books, this is an ...more
This is David Bellos's biography of the madcap 20th-century French writer best known for his massive novel La Vie Mode d’Emploi and the constrained writing masterpiece (the letter "e" is never used in hundreds of pages) La Disparition. Published in 1993, this was the first biography of Perec in any language and its import can be seen its warm reception in Perec's native France as in the English-speaking world.

Bellos based the biography on archival research and on conversations with the writer's
Feb 14, 2008 Lanny rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Perec fans

I believe page 203 in this book should rank
among the classics in literary biographies.
It is a discussion of Perec's shoes, and specifically
the detail of Perec's well-loved

Lobbs which can only be bought in a single boutique
on the Boulevard Saint-Germain.

Named after the Comte no doubt, in his
joyous wandering, must have good footwear..

Again, "current" is entirely relative. I started reading this in about 1994, I think? So it's been on pause for a very long time. Mostly because it was so hard to carry around and other things took over. Now it and its bookmark are sitting in a box in a storage space in Sydney. And of course now I want to get back to reading it. Heigh ho. One day.
David R.  Godine
"An overwhelmingly human portrait, as vivid as it is complex, not only of Perec but of...Paris intellectual life in the 60s and 70s."
— Richard Eder, Los Angeles Times
Adam Floridia

Dave Bellos : Georges Perec :: Brian Boyd : Vladimir Nabokov

More details to follow. (hopefully)
Perec applied for a library position held by Robbe-Grillet? Fascinating! (He was not hired for said job, btw.)
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David Bellos is the director of the Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication at Princeton University, where he is also a professor of French and comparative literature. He has won many awards for his translations of Georges Perec, Ismail Kadare, and others, including the Man Booker International Translator’s Award. He also received the Prix Goncourt for George Perec: A Life in Words.
More about David Bellos...
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