READING GROUP // Species of Spaces and Other Pieces
Perec wrote a 300-page novel ‘La Disparition’ with no letter ‘e’ in it.
He also produced a palindrome (reads backwards and forwards the same) of 5,000 words.
The OuLiPo group produced work using constraints eg mathematical/algorithmic structures within which work was produced.
Parents were Polish Jews who had come to France in the 1920s.
Father died in the early years of the war – fighting in the French Army.
Georges was sent away to live with his aunt and uncle.
Mother was rounded up and is presumed murdered in Auschwitz.
Georges assimilated with French identity – become a writer – ultimate kudos
Most famous work: ‘Life – a users manual’
Taking refuge in language – the ordinary – the everyday
France, referred to as L’hexagone (hexagonal shape).
The Neighbourhood – critical of segmented cities
Going to the left bank to play a pinball machine vigorously instead of joining in intellectual discussions with Jean-Paul Sartre etc.
Job as an archivist – enjoying classification and taking this into his literary work.
Mainly about the city. But the countryside covered – all problems there too.
– Notation written by John Lawlor