- Tapa blanda: 320 páginas
- Editor: Penguin Classics; Edición: New Ed (31 de enero de 2008)
- Colección: Penguin Classics
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 0141442247
- ISBN-13: 978-0141442242
- Valoración media de los clientes: Sé el primero en opinar sobre este producto
- Clasificación en los más vendidos de Amazon: nº22.316 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros (Ver el Top 100 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros)
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Species of Spaces and Other Pieces (Penguin Classics) (Inglés) Tapa blanda – 31 ene 2008
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Descripción del producto
Reseña del editor
Georges Perec produced some of the most entertaining and spirited essays of his age. His literary output was amazingly varied in form and style and this generous selection of Perec's non-fictional work also demonstrates his characteristic lightness of touch, wry humour and accessibility.
Biografía del autor
One of the most important post-war French novelists, Georges Perec was only 42 when he died in 1982. He is the author of LIFE, A USER'S MANUAL. THE WINTER JOURNEY has been published as a Penguin Syren. John Sturrock is an editor at the London Review of Books.
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To me, it seems natural and advisable to feel a little worried when people speak of experimental literature. But Perec is one of those savants whose experiments are also a swimmingly good time. (Who would you add to this list? Calvino, Markson, Mathews, Cortazar, Davis, Barthelme -- who else? Could you please add suggestions in the comments section so I know who to read?)
This book collects important works by a man who never seems to consider himself important. He is always playing, improvising and inviting. And it is so much fun. His essay "Think/Classify" which points out, then demonstrates, the impossibility (and joy) of classification is one of my favorite essays of all time. (Purists of the form will likely not consider it an essay, which is appropriately hilarious.)
What a pleasure it is to be confronted by a simple decision: if you enjoy Perec, you'll certainly want this book. If you are new to Perec -- and perhaps daunted by `LIFE: An Instruction Manual' -- this is a brilliant and engaging introduction. Here is found a great playful mind, ceaselessly experimenting in short snippets and flashes, a da Vinci in literary fireworks, hurrying from one invention/apparation to the next.
Has there ever been an author who celebrated language more than Georges Perec?-- language as celebration and as game and play? So, with all this in mind and as a way of reviewing this marvelous book, I will cite a few quotes from the first essay, Species of Spaces, along with my brief comments. For readers unfamiliar with this 95 page essay, the author addresses spaces moving from the micro to the macro: The Page, The Bed, The Bedroom, The Apartment, The Apartment Building, The Street, The Neighborhood, The Town, The Countryside, The Country, Europe, The World, Space.
The Page -- “This is how space begins, with words only, signs traced on the blank page. To describe space: to name it, to trace it, like those portolano-makers who saturated the coastlines with the names of harbors, the names of capes, the names of inlets, until in the end the land was only separated from the sea by a continuous ribbon of texts. Is the aleph, that place in Borges from which the entire world is visible simultaneously, anything other than the alphabet?” Amazing. To view the Borgesian aleph, that all-seeing sphere, that omni-vision eye, as the a b cs, the alphabet, from which all words are created. And once words are created, is there any object or space, concept or material reality, large or small, gross or subtle, that cannot be labeled, marked, identified, described or categorized by words?
The Bed – “We generally utilize the page in the larger of its two dimensions. The same goes for the bed. The bed (or, if you prefer, the page) is a rectangular space, longer than it is wide, in which, or on which, we normally lie longways.” Again, amazing -- to see all the similarities between the page one writes on (or reads from) and the bed one sleeps on.
The Bedroom – “The resurrected space of the bedroom is enough to bring back to life, to recall, to revive memories, the most fleeting and anodyne along with the most essential.” This is certainly true for me: I can’t visualize the large upstairs attic bedroom of my youth without recalling emotions and feeling I had when a child: the fear of the shadows cast on the walls at night, the sense of wonder when the sun streamed through the windows on a winter’s morning, the unsettling feelings when looking at all those odd ceiling angles, etc.
The Apartment – “It takes a little more imagination no doubt to picture an apartment whose layout was based on the functioning of the senses. We can imagine well enough what a gustatorium might be, or an auditory, but one might wonder what a seeery might look like, or a smellery or a feelery.” Such is the whimsy of Georges Perec.
The Street – “Observe the street, from time to time, with some concern, for system perhaps. Apply yourself. Take your time. . . . Note down what you can see. Anything worthy of note going on. Do you know how to see what’s worthy of note? Is there anything that strikes you? Nothing strikes you. You don’t know how to see. You must set about it more slowly, almost stupidly. Force yourself to write down what is of no interest, what is most obvious, most common, most colourless.” One could take the author’s words here as a mini-course in creative writing and creative seeing and living. As Georges Perec said in his interview, the empty spaces he leaves after his death are an invitation for others to continue the play and game of language and writing.
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 number and types of places he has slept in, and what happens to the picture and the wall its hung on, all in an inviting, friendly voice. Part of this inviting friendliness comes from him inviting you to do the same as him. Observe the world, he says. Make exhaustive lists, for they are the only way to truly see the world around you. Perhaps I'm biased because I like to do similar observation exercises (and have done so both before and after reading the piece), but there are certain things you cannot notice without these type exercises. And Perec gives you just enough in Species to entice you to look around your own city without boring you with actual full examples of exhaustive lists, making this slimish work a quick, enjoyable, and eye-opening (literally or figuratively) little read.
On the Rest:
About half of these things are interesting, some just to look at (like the list of foodstuffs eaten in one year) and others for their content (the humor of A Scientific Friendship..., the very interesting pieces on memory), but the rest seem there just to show the range of Perec's untranslated work. I ended up taking long breaks in reading because of this, reading maybe a piece a week. Luckily, the book ends on possible the most positive note, attempts at translating some of Perec's word games (as well as some similar English language puzzles written by the translator to illustrate the effect of the puzzles in French), which is just a heck of a lot of fun.
On the Translation:
Wonderful. It's hard to tell this was translated, except when Sturrock (the translator) adds a needed illustrative footnote. Also, what he does with the puzzle section at the end is fantastic, really going the extra mile to make the book as accessible as possible.