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Life, a User's Manual

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Life, a User's Manual Cover

 

Staff Pick

Georges Perec was one of the more famous members of the Oulipo, a group of writers whose acronym translates to "workshop for a potential literature." The group imposes mathematical and/or absurd constraints on the style and form of their writing. Perec is most famous for La Disparition, or, in translation, A Void, a novel most famous for its lack of the letter e (which is an even greater feat in the original French than it is in English).

Perec used some pretty severe constraints to produce Life: A User's Manual (La Vie Mode D'emploi), though it's not this formalist dazzle that makes the book great. Yes, all of the details of the book are random, created through mathematical procedure. But, what amazes is that the novel is thematically rich, even profound. It utterly transcends what could easily have been an unsubstantial and macho flexing of literary muscle.
Recommended by Sandra G, Powells.com

Product Details

ISBN:
9781567923735
Author:
Perec, Georges
Publisher:
David R. Godine Publisher
Translator:
Bellos, David
Subject:
Visionary & metaphysical
Subject:
Metaphysics -- Fiction.
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback
Series:
Verba Mundi
Series Volume:
18
Publication Date:
20090731
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
661
Dimensions:
8.40x5.50x1.50 in. 1.75 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Metaphysics » Fiction

Life, a User's Manual New Trade Paper
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Product details 661 pages David R. Godine Publisher - English 9781567923735 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Georges Perec was one of the more famous members of the Oulipo, a group of writers whose acronym translates to "workshop for a potential literature." The group imposes mathematical and/or absurd constraints on the style and form of their writing. Perec is most famous for La Disparition, or, in translation, A Void, a novel most famous for its lack of the letter e (which is an even greater feat in the original French than it is in English).

Perec used some pretty severe constraints to produce Life: A User's Manual (La Vie Mode D'emploi), though it's not this formalist dazzle that makes the book great. Yes, all of the details of the book are random, created through mathematical procedure. But, what amazes is that the novel is thematically rich, even profound. It utterly transcends what could easily have been an unsubstantial and macho flexing of literary muscle.

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