Portrait of a Man (Le Condottière)

      Georges Perec
Portrait of a Man (Le Condottière)

Gaspard Winckler, master forger, is trapped in a basement studio on the outskirts of Paris, with his paymaster's blood on his hands. The motive for this murder? A perversion of artistic ambition. After a lifetime lived in the shadows, he has strayed too close to the sun. Fittingly for such an enigmatic writer, Portrait of a Man is both Perec's first novel and his last. Written in the late 1950s, it was rejected by all publishers, and buried in a drawer. Perec himself told a friend 'it will either become a masterwork or will wait in my grave for a faithful exegete to find it in an old trunk...' An apt coda to one of the brightest literary careers of the twentieth century, it is - in the words of David Bellos, the 'faithful exegete' who brought it to light - 'connected by a hundred threads to every part of the literary universe that Perec went on to create - but it's not like anything else that he wrote.

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    Things: A Story of the Sixties; A Man Asleep

      Georges Perec
Things: A Story of the Sixties; A Man Asleep

With the American publication of Life, a User's Manual in 1987, Georges Perec was immediately recognized in the U.S. as one of this century's most innovative writers. Now Godine is pleased to issue two of his most powerful novels in one volume: Things, in an authoritative new translation, and A Man Asleep, making its first English appearance. Both provoked strong reactions when they first appeared in the 1960s; both which speak with disquieting immediacy to the conscience of today's readers. In each tale Perec subtly probes our compulsive obsession with society's trappings the seductive mass of things that crams our lives, masquerading as stability and meaning.

Jerome and Sylvie, the young, upwardly mobile couple in Things, lust for the good life. "They wanted life's enjoyment, but all around them enjoyment was equated with ownership." Surrounded by Paris's tantalizing exclusive boutiques, they exist in a paralyzing vacuum of frustration, caught between the fantasy of "the film they would have liked to live" and the reality of life's daily mundanities.

In direct contrast with Jerome and Sylvie's cravings, the nameless student in A Man Asleep attempts to purify himself entirely of material desires and ambition. He longs "to want nothing. Just to wait, until there is nothing left to wait for. Just to wander, and to sleep." Yearning to exist on neutral ground as "a blessed parenthesis," he discovers that this wish is by its very nature a defeat.

Accessible, sobering, and deeply involving, each novel distills Perec's unerring grasp of the human condition as well as displaying his rare comic talent. His generosity of observation is both detached and compassionate.

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    The Art and Craft of Approaching Your Head of Department to Submit a Request for a Raise

      Georges Perec
The Art and Craft of Approaching Your Head of Department to Submit a Request for a Raise

so having weighed the pros and cons you've decided to approach your boss to ask for that well-earned raise in salary but before you schedule the all-important meeting you decide to dip into this handy volume in the hope of finding some valuable tips but instead find a hilarious, mind-bending farcical account of all the many different things that may or may not happen on the journey to see your boss which uses no punctuation or capitalisation and certainly no full stops.

Georges Perec famously wrote a whole novel without using the letter 'e'. Now, in this playful short novel, brilliantly translated by David Bellos, Perec once again dispenses with the normal rules for literary compostion, with similarly pyrotechnic results.

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    Life: A User's Manual

      Georges Perec
Life: A User's Manual

In this ingenious book Perec creates an entire microcosm in a Paris apartment block. Serge Valene wants to make an elaborate painting of the building he has made his home for the last sixty years. As he plans his picture, he contemplates the lives of all the people he has ever known there. Chapter by chapter, the narrative moves around the building revealing a marvellously diverse cast of characters in a series of every more unlikely tales, which range from an avenging murderer to an eccentric English millionaire who has devised the ultimate pastime...

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    La Boutique Obscure: 124 Dreams

      Georges Perec
La Boutique Obscure: 124 Dreams

Kurmaca bir anlatıda dile dökülen nedir? Anlatılanlar sonuçta, daha en baştan dille, dil içinde tasavvur edilmez mi hep? Dil içinde vücut bulmadan, dile dökülebilmiş bir şey var mıdır? Georges Perec işte böyle bir sınav koyuyor önüne: Kolay dile gelmeyen bir şey olan rüyaları kaleme almak… Perec, 1968-1972 arasında bir deneye girişir ve farklı bir edebiyat türü yaratmak istercesine rüyalarını kayda geçirir: "Herkes rüya görür. Ama sadece bazıları hatırlar rüyalarını, hatırlayanların çok azı onları anlatır, kâğıda dökenlerse daha da azdır. İhanet edeceğini bile bile (ve bunu yaparken mutlaka kendinize de ihanet edersiniz) insan niye rüyalarını yazmaya kalkar ki?" diye başlıyor söze yazar, "Gördüğüm rüyaları kayda geçirdiğimi sanıyordum; kısa süre sonra fark ettim ki, meğer sırf yazmak için rüya görür olmuşum."

Diğer kitaplarından tanıdığımız tekniklerin, bulmaca ve oyun merakının kendini gösterdiği bu rüya anlatılarında yazarın kitaplarına ışık tutacak ipuçları bulmak da mümkün. Karanlık Dükkân, özel bir yazarın iç dünyası için bir "cümle kapısı".

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