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Species of Spaces and Other Pieces

Species of Spaces and Other Pieces George Perec produced some of the most entertaining and spirited essays of his age and Species of Spaces and Other Pieces is edited and translated from the French with an introduction by John Sturroc

  • Title: Species of Spaces and Other Pieces
  • Author: Georges Perec John Sturrock
  • ISBN: 9780140189865
  • Page: 349
  • Format: Paperback
  • George Perec produced some of the most entertaining and spirited essays of his age, and Species of Spaces and Other Pieces is edited and translated from the French with an introduction by John Sturrock in Penguin Classics.Georges Perec, author of Life A User s Manual, was one of the most surprising and enjoyable of all modern French writers The pieces in this volume showGeorge Perec produced some of the most entertaining and spirited essays of his age, and Species of Spaces and Other Pieces is edited and translated from the French with an introduction by John Sturrock in Penguin Classics.Georges Perec, author of Life A User s Manual, was one of the most surprising and enjoyable of all modern French writers The pieces in this volume show him to be at times playful, serious at other, but writing always with the lightest of touches He had the keenest of eyes for the infra ordinary , the things we do every day eating, sleeping, working and the places we do them in without giving them a moment s thought But behind the lightness and humour, there is also the sadness of a French Jewish boy who lost his parents in the Second World War and found comfort in the material world around him, and above all in writing.This volume contains a selection of Georges Perec s non fiction works, along with a charming short story, The Winter Journey It includes notes and an introduction describing Perec s life and career.Georges Perec 1936 1982 was born in Paris, the son of Polish Jews After his father was killed in the Army, and his mother deported to Auschwitz where she later died, Perec was adopted by his aunt and uncle Working for most of his life as an archivist, Perec was one of the most important post war French novelists He is best remembered as the author of Life, A User s Manual and T

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    Species of Spaces and Other Pieces

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    1. Georges Perec John Sturrock says:
      Georges Perec was a highly regarded French novelist, filmmaker and essayist He was a member of the Oulipo group Many of his novels and essays abound with experimental wordplay, lists and attempts at classification, and they are usually tinged with melancholy.Born in a working class district of Paris, Perec was the only son of Icek Judko and Cyrla Schulewicz Peretz, Polish Jews who had emigrated to France in the 1920s He was a distant relative of the Yiddish writer Isaac Leib Peretz Perec s first novel, Les Choses Things A Story of the Sixties was awarded the Prix Renaudot in 1965.In 1978, Perec won the prix M dicis for Life A User s Manual French title, La Vie mode d emploi , possibly his best known work The 99 chapters of this 600 page piece move like a knight s tour of a chessboard around the room plan of a Paris apartment building, describing the rooms and stairwell and telling the stories of the inhabitants.Cantatrix Sopranica L is a spoof scientific paper detailing experiments on the yelling reaction provoked in sopranos by pelting them with rotten tomatoes All the references in the paper are multi lingual puns and jokes, e.g Karybb et Scyla, 1973.Perec is also noted for his constrained writing his 300 page novel La disparition 1969 is a lipogram, written without ever using the letter e It has been translated into English by Gilbert Adair under the title A Void 1994 The silent disappearance of the letter might be considered a metaphor for the Jewish experience during the Second World War Since the name Georges Perec is full of e s, the disappearance of the letter also ensures the author s own disappearance.His novella Les revenentes 1972 is a complementary univocalic piece in which the letter e is the only vowel used This constraint affects even the title, which would conventionally be spelt Revenantes An English translation by Ian Monk was published in 1996 as The Exeter Text Jewels, Secrets, Sex in the collection Three.It has been remarked by Jacques Roubaud that these two novels draw words from two disjoint sets of the French language, and that a third novel would be possible, made from the words not used so far those containing both e and a vowel other than e.W ou le souvenir d enfance, W, or, the Memory of Childhood, 1975 is a semi autobiographical work which is hard to classify Two alternating narratives make up the volume one, a fictional outline of a totalitarian island country called W , patterned partly on life in a concentration camp and the second, descriptions of childhood Both merge towards the end when the common theme of the Holocaust is explained.A heavy smoker throughout his life, Perec was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1981 and he died the following year in Ivry sur Seine at only forty five years old His ashes are held at the columbarium of the P re Lachaise Cemetery.David Bellos wrote an extensive biography of Perec Georges Perec A Life in Words, which won the Acad mie Goncourt s bourse for biography in 1994.

    Comment 772 on “Species of Spaces and Other Pieces

    1. Glenn Russell says:
      Georges Perec 1936 1982 What a marvellous invention man is He can blow on his hands to warm them up, and blow on his soup to cool it down Georges Perec, age 45, told an interviewer how books by authors he loved when he was in his 20s were like pieces of a puzzle but there were still spaces between the pieces and those were the spaces where he could write He went on to say how he would like to write everything in every way possible, including children s books, science fiction, detective novels, c [...]

    2. Chris_P says:
      I think, in order to properly review Species of Spaces you have to be as genius as Perec was and I m not I don t think there s any point in talking about this little book Just read it and let it make its way inside you the way it s meant to It must also be quite an experience to read it under the influence of hallucinogenics, although, it can act like one by itself Great stuff

    3. Adam Floridia says:
      Species of Spaces 5 5 Something about Perec s originality just really gets me His attention to detail, his ability to notice the everyday, but so his taking the time to pay attention, to notice the everyday is some combination of the words breathtaking and touching that I can t pin down It s like he embodies those hackneyed saying you ve got to stop to smell the roses or Life move s pretty fast If you don t stop and look around, you might miss it thanks Ferris Of course, Perec does it without t [...]

    4. Andrew says:
      If you want a plot, or if you want a cohesive argument, then Perec isn t for you If you want beautifully rendered belles lettres about everything and nothing, then he should be right up your alley In this slender volume of spatial meditations, lists, word games, and other odd ends, Perec as a person shines forth In his novels, he seemed to exist as a method, a way of writing Even in the autobiographical, W or the Memory of Childhood, the childhood reminiscences didn t give us a terribly good id [...]

    5. Sara Mazzoni says:
      Riflessioni sullo spazio dal piccolo al grande, dal nostro letto all universo infinito Perec le focalizza su casa, condominio e citt Alcuni spunti sono interessanti, con una buon indice di apertura mentale Complessivamente un po ozioso, ugualmente leggibile perch formato da capitoli brevissimi Facile da interrompere, digeribile, si pu leggere in autobus, al parco, in fila alle poste.

    6. Ronald Morton says:
      With these, the sense of the world s concreteness, irreducible, immediate, tangible, of something clear and closer to us of the world, no longer as a journey having constantly to be remade, not as a race without end, a challenge having constantly to be met, not as the one pretext for a despairing acquisitiveness, nor as the illusion of a conquest, but as the rediscovery of a meaning, the perceiving that the earth is a form of writing, a geography of which we had forgotten that we ourselves are t [...]

    7. aconeyisland says:
      Questo andar per luoghi 2 Non cercare di trovare troppo rapidamente una definizione della citt non cosa da poco, e ci sono molte probabilit di sbagliarsi Innanzitutto fare l inventario di quanto si vede Elencare ci di cui si sicuri Stabilire distinzioni elementari per esempio tra quello che la citt e quello che non la citt.Interessarsi a ci che separa la citt da ci che non citt Osservare quello che succede quando finisce la citt.Esercitazioni Osservare la strada, di tanto in tanto, magari con un [...]

    8. Heyyonicki says:
      Il est tr s agr able et rassurant de savoir que ce genre de livre existe On n a pas le temps de s ennuyer car cette oeuvre est assez dynamique Les quelques r f rences donn e par l auteur sont intrigante et pertinente Ca donne envie de visiter Paris.

    9. Diana says:
      Los elefantes generalmente se dibujan m s peque os que su tama o natural, pero una pulga siempre es m s grande.Jonathan Swift

    10. Stephanie McGarrah says:
      This was my first book by Perec, and even though I was intrigued by some of the reviews, I wasn t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did I was expecting something difficult to read, but the only part that went over my head were the word games at the end of the book, kudos to anyone who knew the answers to these and I still loved reading about them He was quite the wordsmith.The short pieces that make up Species of Spaces are eclectic, varying in style I loved this approach to writing and if you [...]

    11. Magdalena says:
      this Space melts like sand running through one s fingers Time bears it away and leaves me only shapeless shreds To write to try meticulously to retain something, to cause something to survive to wrest a few precise scraps from the void as it grows, to leave somewhere a furrow, a trace, a mark or a few signs and also this the world, no longer as a journey having constantly to be remade, not as a race without an end, a challenge having constantly to be met, not as the one pretext for a despairing [...]

    12. Pamela says:
      Comprised of lists things to do before death , food inventories everything ingested in 1974 , vignettes about space page, bedroom, apartment, street, country, space, etc , and autobiographical essays with sentences that describe everyday objects and allude to 20th c atrocity in the same breath he was orphaned by the holocaust and never mentions it his emotionally reticent style and tendency to withhold supply detail at all the wrong moments give the reader the space to have emotional reactions w [...]

    13. Feliks says:
      Not at all satisfying Georges Perec comes across as very, very, creepy And his schtick is mostly list mania Every chapter is about little else than this fetish of his He simply makes mental lists of everything around him and everything he can ever remember being around him Lists of things to do, lists of things he hasn t done, lists of things he did once, lists of things he ll never do again It quickly grows wearisome Moreover, the writing style is dry and crackling, uncooperative, choppy, slugg [...]

    14. Jason says:
      By far my favorite work of Perec, and probably in my top ten books of all time It is a great introduction to his style if you can t get into this, don t bother with Perec One of my favorite works struggling with the enigma of the written word, what it means to be a writer, what it means to be a reader.

    15. Jfmarhuenda says:
      Escribir tratar de retener algo meticulosamente, de conseguir que algo sobreviva arrancar unas migajas precisas al vac o que se excava continuamente, dejar en alguna parte un surco, un rastro, una marco o algunos signos Perec insufla amor por la literatura Cada p rrafo contiene miles de historias abiertas para que tu imaginaci n les de forma.

    16. Alicia says:
      This man was a genius This is a great collection to take your time over, and savor every word There are so many of them, and they make you think in so many new ways.

    17. Courtney says:
      I love the list of everything he ate for a year.I wish he d lived longer, so we could have been friends.

    18. Anne says:
      This book is simply wonderful I had to read a piece of it for a class but ended up finishing the whole book in the end Once I was struck by Perec s unconventional and enjoyable way of writing, I just had to read If you haven t heard of Perec, there is a chance you might have heard of one of his books It s a piece of trivia I encountered many years before I came across its author Perec is the author of La Disparition, a full length French novel written completely without the letter e Does that s [...]

    19. Ada says:
      El espacio se deshace como la arena que se desliza entre los dedos El tiempo se lo lleva y s lo me deja unos cuantos pedazos informes Escribir tratar de retener algo meticulosamente, de conseguir que algo sobreviva arrancar unas migajas precisas al vac o que se excava continuamente, dejar en alguna parte un surco, un rastro, una marca o algunos signos.

    20. Andrea says:
      George Perec is an author whose work fills me with delight, Species of Space and the other pieces found in this collection are wonderful Insightful Playful Everyday Extraordinary Not least because he loves lists as much as I do, perhaps I read his piece on the Place Sans Sulpice, and meant to read this too before going to Paris So now it calls me back.I particularly love how Perec is obsessed with space, but approaches it completely differently than would a planner, an architect, an urbanist He [...]

    21. Bjorn says:
      Esp ces d espaces 1974 which has the trying too hard English title Species of Spaces and Other Pieces isn t a novel, rather it s of a freeform essay on the subject of space Not in the outer space astronomical sense, but rather in the sense of how we take up space how we inhabit it, how we imbue it Several times, I ve tried to imagine a flat in which there d be a completely unnecessary room, absolutely and deliberately unnecessary It wouldn t be a storage room, or an extra bedroom, or a corridor [...]

    22. Jesse says:
      One of the essays collected in this volume Robert Antelme or the Truth of Literature, 1962 carries an odd disclaimer from the compiler this essay dates to a time when Perec was political in his outlook than he subsequently became, which seems to suggest that the content of the piece would be rendered invalid by a subsequent ideological shift on Perec s part.It is in this piece, though, that Perec best sums up what was clearly his lifelong literary mission He would be succinct in a later piece [...]

    23. twrctdrv says:
      Note before review My rating is based on both Species of Spaces and the supplemental readings If it were just Species, this rating would be five stars.First, on Species It s been about a month or two between when I read this piece and now, but it s stuck with me the whole time Perec pays close attention to everything around him, zooming out from the page he writes on the the whole of the universe, and along the way he observes things as simple as a man locking his car to go to the store, the num [...]

    24. Prabhat Saraswat says:
      An absolutely brilliant book I picked this book from a stock clearance sale of a book store, The image of the man himself intrigued me very much As i read a little , I knew this would be a beautiful book Brought it and yes it was It starts with a poem, a kid poem It is a translated version as the entire prose is originally written in french, but most of the humor and syntactical playful experiments of georges perec is preserved Then begins a journey through spaces Spaces around us, which we have [...]

    25. Holly says:
      My friend Colleen plucked this from a shelf and handed it to me after a conversation about the Oulipo movement and constraint If you like Calvino, you ll like this, she said And she was right It was a good book to read slowly and savor.One particular surprise was Perec s account of being a paratrooper, a sort of meditation on letting go It rang especially true since I ve had a close relationship with a member of an army airborne unit I appreciate many Oulipo writers for their sense of mindfulnes [...]

    26. Kim Marie says:
      It just goes to prove that oftentimes the best things come in small packages Perec essentially looks at the various Spaces we inhabit in our everyday lives from our bedrooms to our city blocks to our neighbors, our country and the world at large His clever insights make the mundane seem extraordinary I think he challenges us to open our minds to creatively look at the world around us not as a series of confinements but as a series of opportunities for reflection, playfulness and adventure It s r [...]

    27. J says:
      Absum intellectualism Modes of space within a space within a space, relationships thereof, conversations therewith and the subjectivity of place.Interesting ideas, plays with the mind existentialism Is definitely an architect of form though slight confusion with its language.

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