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Georges Perec: A Life in Words

4.29  ·  Rating Details  ·  93 Ratings  ·  8 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 comprehens
...more
Paperback, 832 pages
Published April 29th 1999 by Harvill Press (first published January 1st 1993)
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Jonfaith
Apr 24, 2016 Jonfaith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Deserves to sit along the best of Richard Ellmann and Brian Boyd. Magisterial erudition captures Perec"s wonky world. Early in the biography the reader is informed of the myriad puns associated with Perec's name. Perec in Serbo-Croat means pretzel. The sinuous always appeared second nature to Georgie Pretzel, for sure but throbbing sorrow adumbrates its own moribund rhythm across his life. This marks the end of this trip and the time spent with this book was so appropriate. Perec loved Belgrade, ...more
Declan
Mar 31, 2013 Declan rated it it was amazing
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
Christopher
Jan 14, 2014 Christopher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Lanny
Feb 14, 2008 Lanny rated it it was amazing  ·  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..



Caitlin
Sep 09, 2008 Caitlin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 24, 2008 David R. Godine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: judaica, biography
"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
Mar 10, 2013 Adam Floridia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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

More details to follow. (hopefully)
Penny
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 (born 1945) 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 Li ...more
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