Jeff Jackson's Reviews > W, or the Memory of Childhood

W, or the Memory of Childhood by Georges Perec
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Aug 10, 12

Read in June, 2012

UPDATE: For those of you who've caught Olympic fever, this is the novel to read after the games. It'll shade your memory of the decathlon and many other track & field events. Perec's book has been haunting me in unexpected ways as I tune into the coverage.

4.5 stars. An affecting mix of autobiographical fragments, a page-turning mystery involving a strange letter, and a slightly schematic description of a society of athletes. These parallel narratives deal with the unreliable nature of memory, the seductions of storytelling, and the spaces in between - which is exactly where this tale really takes place. The Holocaust is rarely spoken about directly and you get the sense that Perec doesn't want to be defined by it, but that it's also marked his life deeply in ways which he struggles to express. The most piercing parts of "W" are what remain unsaid and unsayable, but are relayed to the reader through hints, evasions, and unexpected correspondences.
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