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Thoughts of Sorts (Verba Mundi)

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  95 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Thoughts of Sorts, one of Georges Perec's final works, was published posthumously in France in 1985. With this translation, David Bellos, Perec's preeminent translator, has completed the Godine list of Perec's great works translated into English and has provided an introduction to this master of systematic versatility. Thoughts of Sorts; is a compilation of musings and ess ...more
Paperback, 143 pages
Published January 1st 2009 by David R Godine Publishers Inc, U.S. (first published 1985)
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Adam Floridia
While reading more than a few of the essays in this collection, I was struck by the feeling that I've read them before. I haven't checked, so that may be true, or it may not. The mere fact that I don't remember actually made reading this very work resonate all the more. In addition to examining categorization and classification, a staple of Perec is the investigation of memory. Nabokov: consciousness::Perec is to memory; Wallace: solipsism::Perec is to memory; Vonnegut:humanism::Perec is to memo ...more
Glenn Russell
I have always enjoyed making lists, especially list involving books and reading: lists of books I've read, lists of books I've listened to on audio CD, lists of my favorite authors, lists of books I intend reading, lists of books I've reviewed and posted on, lists of books I've discussed in book groups, lists of books I've studied in detail, etc. I also have enjoyed the way words look and sound by themselves and in combination with other words, especially words that start with the sam ...more
A book of loose ends. A collection of Perec's writings that were published in small publications in France. So for sure not a major work, yet Perec is a major 20th Century writer. And a very charming one at that. If the avant-garde has any charm, then Georges Perec is a good gateway to that world.

Obsessed with lists, puzzles, knowledge of things not important -is the glue or magnet that attracts Perec''s attention. The short piece on what is on his work desk is worth the price of the book alone.
Heather Shaw
"Every book collection corresponds to two needs that are often also obsessions: the need to hang on to things (books), and the need to keep them in some order."

Born in Paris in 1936 to Polish-Jewish immigrants; his father was killed at the front in 1940 and his mother died either on the way or in Auschwitz. Georges Perec himself was in the south of France, in a French boarding school. He studied sociology at the Sorbonne and his first novel, Things: A Story of the Sixties was published in 1965 a
Jim Elkins
Reading my way through Perec, because how is it possible to stop? This collection of short pieces has some models for prose experiments:[return][return]1. "Thoughts of Sorts / Sorts of Thoughts" is fragmentary in an uninteresting way: it could be much more intensively executed, more fictionally complete, more obsessively classificatory. But it makes up for that unaccountable lightness (it seems that it's the product of a waning interest, or a lack of energy) by some wonderful passages, like this ...more
The work of a genius/maniac! Makes me want to read everything this strange French man ever has written, which is unfortunately not too much.

If you think an essay on 81 different ways to make sweetbread, rabbit, and sole could amuse you and would make you think why exactly he chose a combination of those three, then go for it. The most creative way of working with words I probably ever have seen!
Lots of overlap with the other collection of essays by GP, Species of Space and Other Places, the highlight here is an essay called Reading where he does his sociological bit about different methods and contexts of reading. It has the passionate whimsy of his best fiction. There's a great sociological look at fashion which is funny and insightful and had a laugh out loud moment where he discusses Chinese food in France, Germany, UK and USA. Another essay, "I Remember Malet and Isaac" is pretty i ...more
our thoughts of sorts on his Thoughts of Sorts:
This was an enjoyable little book of essays on, well, "Thoughts of Sorts/Sorts of Thoughts". Worthwhile for the essay on his desk alone, but the rest of it is also enjoyable and thought-provoking. They're all nice reflections on the things we do without reflection - the things we leave on our desks (except when we have parties), the gestures that only the bespectacled possess, the way we arrange our reading materials and the ways we read.
I really liked a few of these essays ("Brief Notes on the Art and Craft of Sorting Books," "Reading," "Thoughts of Sorts/Sorts of Thoughts," "Notes from the Objects to Be Found on My Desk"), others not so much. Some of them are more like notes for future essays, and while that was charming, sometimes I wished I could just read the actual essay that was never written.
David R.  Godine
"Thoughts of Sorts is a very enjoyable collection, from the useful 'Statement of Intent' to its consideration of the physical act of reading and Perec's 'Thoughts of Sorts / Sorts of Thoughts' . . . yet another must-read for any Perec-fan."
— M.A. Orthofer, The Complete Review
Perec, mon écrivain préfère, n'est jamais aussi chiant que lorsqu'il fait trop dans l'analytique. Qqs listes suffisent a elles seules a assurer plus sûrement poésie et réalisme qu'un expose pontifiant.
I could especially relate to Perec's essay about book collecting and categorizing. (Quite embarrasing, actually).
wow really great! I am very glad to have discovered Georges Perec.

A book to read slowly and savour
Un indispensable.
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Georges Perec was a highly-regarded French novelist, filmmaker and essayist. He was a member of the Oulipo group. Many of his novels and essays abound with experimental wordplay, lists and attempts at classification, and they are usually tinged with melancholy.

Perec's first novel, Les Choses (Things: A Story of the Sixties) was awarded the Prix Renaudot in 1965.

In 1978, Perec won the prix Médicis
More about Georges Perec...
Life: A User's Manual A Void Species of Spaces and Other Pieces W, or the Memory of Childhood Things: A Story of the Sixties; A Man Asleep

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