Parrish Lantern's Reviews > A Void

A Void by Georges Perec
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Jul 19, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: authors-tbr, blog-post, favourites, fiction, library, translation, the-dee-bees, oulipo

A Void (La Disparition)–Georges Perec

A Lipogrammatic Synopsis ---- which with artful constraint will focus savor, nay passion and by addition of vigorous acuity and highbrow purport, may transplant mirth as though a frolicking Pan full of ambrosial liquor.

As his country is torn apart by social and political anarchy, Anton Vowl, known capricious kook and insomniac, is missing. Ransacking his Paris accommodation (turning all up and down, all in & out), his top, top pals scour his diary for hints to his location. At first look, nothing is in plain sight, all is myopic, but Vowl's inclination for word play, notably for "lipograms" (compositions in which a particular symbol, pictograph or syllabary is A.W.O.L.) is commonly known. But as his chums start to work out Vowl's word labyrinth’s, tracking through various trails amongst Vowl’s data, his companions start to go missing, 1 by1 by 1, and with mystifying Fortuna. Through this story you and I follow Vowl’s cohorts, trailing (magnifying glass in hand) through a Gordian knot of distractions, convolutions & fog bound motifs, forming a Rubics squarish form of a madcap roaming, with foul play and slayings a constant quandary and a garishly Faustian conclusion. A Void is a philosophical whodunit, a bloodhound, P.I., a shoofly story, chock-full of plots and unfolding's, of trails in pursuit of pathways, it’s as though Dr Watson’s brainy companion was caught running through a phantasmagoric vista, with brushwork by Miró * or his kind .

All of which affords this books author occasion to display his virtuosity as a lingual magician, acrobat, and lugubrious buffoon, a mad calculus doctor piling word upon word in a foolish, rash, cloud-soaring ziggurat, a monstrous burj of Babil.

It is also a flagitious garrulous stunt: a 280 odd folio fiction that on no occasion puts to work a particular symbol that falls twixt D and F. Adair's translation, is also mind-bogglingly astounding and full of dark art, it also constricts it’s wording choosing to follow its original authors lipogrammatic constraint and in doing so fashions a book that has no ilk, no comparisons, that lights its own trail with lamps and flash bangs, prior to skipping, dancing, tripping, prancing, 1 instant a figurant or Prima, anon a hippopotamus, an aardvark. A non-tabloid with an autonym such as “Chrono” broadcast this summary "a daunting triumph of will pushing its way through imposing roadblocks to a magical country, an absurdist nirvana of humour, pathos, and loss.".

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Whitaker No "e". Nicely done. Very nicely done. :-)


Parrish Lantern Thanks. it's amazing what 1 can do with a dictionary & a compulsion


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