Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Georges Perec by David Bellos - 1994 - 824 pages

I offer my great thanks to Max u for the Amazon Gift Card that allowed me to acquire this wonderful biography 

George Perec’s parents immigrated to France from Poland in 1924.  His father was killed in 1940 serving in the French Army.  His mother died at Auschwitz in in 1940. The great  Yiddish writer I. L. Peretz was a distant relative.  Perec spoke some Yiddish but had little sense of being Jewish.

March 1, 1936. Born in Paris

1958 to 1959. Served as a Paratrooper in the French Army

1961 to 1978. Worked as an archivist for The Hospital Saint Antoine in 

1969 La Disportier, a 300 page novel without an “E” Is published 

1978 Life a User’s Manual is published, to great acclaim 

March 3, 1982 dies. Paris

Last month Amazon recommended Life a User’s Manual by Georges
Perec, translated from the French by David Bellos.  I had never heard of the author but the book did sound interesting to me so I took a gamble and acquired it.  Now I regard Life A User’s Manual as one of the very best novels I have ever read as well as being just a delight to experience.  I was stunned by the creativity and brilliance behind this book and wanted to learn more about the author as was very happy to learn Bellos has written an 824 page biography of him

David Bellos is considered the authority on Perec.  His book starts with Perec’s grandparents back in Poland.  It is very detailed on all aspects of the life of Perec, from his long career as an archivist, his marriage and romances, his role in French intellectual life and his prolific literary output.  (A comprehensive bibliography is included). He offers very insightful commentary on his fictions and his work in the cinema and theater.  His long commentary on Life A User’s Manual for sure increased my understanding of the complex fascinating structure of this marvellous novel.  I hope to reread it pretty soon and will, I hope, see deeper into this very Parisian book because of the guidance of Bellos.

I offer my appreciation to Bellos for making Georges 
Perec available to the Anglophone Reading Life World.

DAVID BELLOS is Professor of French at Princeton University. He won the Prix Goncourt de la Biographie for Georges Perec and has been chiefly instrumental in introducing this author to an English-language public. He is the English translator of Life A User’s Manual (for which translation he won the IBM-France Prize). Things: A Story of the Sixties, W or The Memory of Childhood, and “53 Days”, all by Georges Perec. He has also published studies of Honoré de Balzac. His biography of Jacques Tati is also published by Harvill in 1999...from the publisher 

Mel u

1 comment:

Buried In Print said...

Oh, man: the public library has this as a reference-only volume, so it doesn't circulate. Well, at the very least, I can peek at the commentary on Life in a single reading session. It sounds essential!