Two intriguing and poignant novellas, Perec’s first published works, show him forging the iconoclastic literary style that fully emerges in his magisterial Life: A. My journey into the literature of this month sees the appearance of another of my favourite writers, Georges Perec. In Perec’s career. You are sitting, naked from the waist up, wearing only pajama bottoms, in your garret, on the narrow bench that serves as your bed, with a book. Raymond Aron’s.

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The form is very much in line with the content in this case. Short as the story is, it nevertheless endlessly doubles back upon its own tracks. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. There was no warder posted outside, no head-warden stationed at the end of the corridor, no Grand Inquisitor waiting at the garden gate.

Tame pets, faithfully reflecting a world which taunted them. Metaphysical torments have not significantly ravaged your noble countenance. Money, sometimes, consumed them entirely.

A User’s Manual Oh Georges, Georges, Georges! Perec’s narrator imagines a life without history, without past or future. He is an astute observer of the human nature and he does not shy away from pointing out flaws and superficialities. It is pegec “Losing Haringey”, and features a narrator who drifts aimlessly through nighttime suburban London “In those days, there was a kind of fever that pushed me out of the front door Even when confronted with luxury, the austerity of North Africa has purged them as much from want as from envy.


He was a distant relative of the Yiddish writer Isaac Leib Peretz. They are incredibly materialistic, and the only interesting thing that they really do in the whole book is decide to temporarily move to Tunisia.

Things: A Story of the Sixties; A Man Asleep

Both of these stories are unlike anything I’ve ever read before. So is an air of at first unnoticeable melancholy, that seems to drift around his characters like a ghost.

Perec is a master of finding beauty in everyday life and dissecting the mundane and banal into its fundamental particles. The stories are more introspective than anything else. Notify me of new posts via email. The narrator cultivates indifference; he trains himself not to judge, not to care.

Things: A Story of the Sixties & A Man Asleep – David R. Godine, Publisher

You are commenting using your Twitter account. I agree about Helle Helle — there was something about that novel which stayed with me as well. Who drops out of the world into a half life of somnambulism, without hope of redemption. It might have been that summer, or a summer before, or after, it doesn’t matter, that I watched the film version of A Man Asleepwatched – or glimpsed – it endlessly, bits and pieces, YouTubed segments, the hypnotic drone of the narrator’s voice speeding up, lulling me from one nothingness into another.


Crazy dreams of solitude.

I’ve been through a pretty serious personal phase of extreme apathy and depression myself. The paths they were following, the values they were gradually adopting, their outlook, their desires and their ambitions, it must be said, did indeed sometimes all feel desperately empty.

– A Man Asleep | 1streading’s Blog

You only go out after nightfall, like the rats, the cats and the monsters. And I’d tell myself: But these reversed georegs threw them into perhaps even greater despair.

Perec uses these characters to ask msn By clicking on “Submit” you agree that you have read and agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. Sadness and deflation is what this brief novel is all about. It takes a minute to get your head around but once you do, I think they’re both brilliant.

I did not finish the second novel, A Man Asleep.

So, although it was written in a highly experimental manner, it also contained a lot of rich humanity for me — a winning combination. View all 11 comments. You drink some nescafe.

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