viernes, 1 de octubre de 2010

Upcoming Shared Read: Georges Perec's "A Void"


While I'm sure you're all super busy with various end of the year reading projects and whatnot, I hope I can entice a few of you to join assorted other rabid Georges Perec fans and me in a shared read of his 1969 novel A Void later this month.  A Void, originally published as La disparition in France way back when, is sometimes described as a "metaphysical whodunit" that's either a venture into noir or a parody of the same; however, many of you will know of it instead as that circa 300-page novel somehow written without the use of the letter "e."  Sound a little too experimental for you?  Not to worry.  First, take a look at the snapshot of author and cat below: Perec might have been a genius, but he was one of those fun-loving geniuses if you catch my drift.  Next, take a look at some of the write-ups from the shared read of Perec's Life A User's Manual that a bunch of us undertook in April.  To a person, wildly ecstatic raves.  While I can't promise you that A Void will be anywhere near as vachement formidable as Life A User's Manual, this Wikipedia entry here makes me think that it should be every bit as satisfying to you, the discriminating reader, as Mockingjay and Tender Morsels seem to be to less discriminating readers.  Are you in?

Georges Perec, l'homme de l'heure

When
To give everybody time to read and then post at their leisure, "discussions" are targeted to take place on participating blogs somewhere between October 29th (a Friday) and November 7th (a Sunday): in other words, two full weekends.  Post whenever you like, though.

Who else is in or probably in

17 comentarios:

  1. Yay, yay, yay, yay, yay! :)

    I ordered my copy last night (1-click option on Amazon via my iPhone = dangerous fun!)

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  2. hi richard I may join If library have a copy ,got old school already for other read ,all the best stu

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  3. Sounds like fun! I didn't get to read along with Life, but this one I would love to do if I can get my hands on a copy of the book in a timely fashion (and if dissertation-related work hasn't turned my brain to mush... I know it's supposed to make me smarter, but it often just makes me more tired!).

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  4. I have decided to participate in this readalong as The Letter E, and thus be not there, so to speak.

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  5. So long as I'm not prohibited from using "e" in writing about it, I think I can do this.

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  6. Sorry, I just realized that my comment above doesn't come anywhere close to capturing the tone I intended. What I meant was: I really, really, really want to do this, I hope I can, I think I can, yes I really want to, I'm going to try, sign me up!

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  7. Arggh, all the other wolves are doing it?? What peer pressure! ;-)

    I am still not ready to commit, but will see how I'm feeling toward the end of the month. If not now, Perec is certainly on my list for authors to pick up in France.

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  8. $4.98. That's all I paid. Have succumbed to the temptations of cheap books and a genius with bad hair. It was a sign I tell you. What are the chances that even my favorite bookstore would have Perec remainders facing out no less?

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  9. I am holding firm on my general philosophy of not committing to anything but the Classics Circuit in advance, but I will tell you that a copy of this book did happen to leap into my bag at the library today. If the mood strikes when the time is near, I will at least have it on hand!

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  10. How did the translator managed to faithfully translate the text and respect the "no-letter-e" rule ?

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  11. *Sarah: Ditto! P.S. That sounds like dangerous fun all right!

    *Stu: Would be great if you could join us for Perec; however, I'm glad to hear you'll be joining us for Old School. I'm really looking forward to that one. Cheers!

    *Steph: We had such an absolute blast with Life a User's Manual that I'm a little worried that A Void might have a hard time matching the excitement of that experience. In any event, it'd be great to have you join us if you get a copy of it in time and if grad school isn't too all consuming for you. Cheers!

    *Jill: That's the spirit!

    *Isabella: Awesome--so, so happy you'll be reading along with us again! P.S. As far as I'm concerned, you can use all the vowels you like and most of the consonants, too!!

    *Emily: Yes, so far you're only one who's had the willpower to turn Perec down for a second date. We won't hold it against you if you change your mind/come to your senses, though!

    *Frances: That's definitely a sign! Not sure what kind of sign I'm receiving since my bookstores still want list price for the damn thing. On the other hand, I like my barber better than I like Perec's for sure.

    *Teresa: Thanks for the visit--we'd all love to have you join us for round two of Perecmania if things work for out for you timing-wise. In the meantime, please speak to Frances to see if she'll agree that a book jumping into a bag in a library qualifies as a "sign." She can be very persuasive about these things, you know!

    *Bookaroundthecorner: I'm not sure yet, but that's what we're all about to find out! Thank you for the visit!

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  12. Sold! I just ordered a copy from amazon.com because my doesn't-have-crap library doesn't own one novel of Perec, of course. Still, should it arrive on time, I'll read along with you, and plan on posting November 7th. Thanks for a bit of lee-way on the timeframe, and you will help me understand the difficult bits, will you not?

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  13. I tried to read A Void back when it first came out in paperback and didn't make it. But I would like to try again.

    I'll see if I can get a copy at my library. Sounds like fun to me.

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  14. I left a note over at Frances's place earlier to say that I was pretty excited about this and would probably read along. I often wonder how I've managed to make it this long without reading it. I definitely need more Oulipo in my life and I know you will host a wonderful event.

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  15. *Bellezza: As you already know, so glad you'll be joining us for Perec again! Please feel free to post whenever you like and definitely fire away if you have any questions--somebody in the group should know. Cheers!

    *C.B. James: Excited to hear that you might be in! Our group had a blast with the last Perec in April, so hopefully this one will deliver the goods as well. In the meantime, good luck with that library search!

    Nicole: Thanks,awesome--hope things work out for you to read along again! It was so fun to do the Borges short story month with you and Amateur Reader and Rise a while back. P.S. From the little I've read from that little family of playful eccentrics, I think everybody could use a little more OULIPO in their reading lives!

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  16. The published English translation is, oddly, missing a poem that prefaces Perec's French text. There is, however, a (mostly) unpublished English translation, of which snippets have been published -- and which *does* include the prefatory poem. If anyone's interested, I just put up the English translation here:

    http://stephenfrug.blogspot.com/2010/10/jacques-roubouds-la-disparition-in.html

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  17. *Stephen: Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, but thanks for the link! (I'll try and remember to mention it in my post.) I picked up a copy of La disparition the other day, but I haven't yet had time to compare it with the English translation. In any event, thanks for pointing that out. Cheers!

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