Category: Book Reviews

Journey Into the Past by Stefan Zweig

by Emma Garman, November 24, 2010

Image of Journey Into the Past by Stefan Zweig
In his memoir, The World of Yesterday, published the year after his suicide in 1942 at age 60, Stefan Zweig wistfully recalls the sense of security that “made life seem worthwhile” and that defined his parents’ and grandparents’ generation. Pre-WWI Europe, it seemed, was on an…...read more »

Category: Classics in Translation

film icon Resonances: Contemporary Writers on the Classics at PEN World Voices Festival

by Bud Parr, May 3, 2010

My goal each day of the PEN World Voices Festival is to find one writer or one book I've never heard of that sparks my interest. What more could one ask for? Thursday's find was Marcel Möring whose novel, In a Dark Wood, owes its conception to Dante's Inferno. I found Möring at…...read more »

Category: Classics in Translation

Zbigniew Herbert: An Introduction

by James Marcus, March 9, 2010

Image of Zbigniew Herbert: An Introduction
This article originally ran on January 7th, 2008 as part of a forum on Herbert's work. We republish it here as part of our month long look at International poetry and to celebrate the release of The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry by the editors of Words Without Borders. As the moderators…...read more »

Category: Classics in Translation

film icon Searching for rue Simon-Crubellier

by Bud Parr, January 29, 2010

Image of Searching for rue Simon-Crubellier
 "Play with all your mind, play" I think, echoing here the epigraph to Life A Users Manual with my own substitution, that Georges Perec would have liked the "Searching for rue Simon-Crubellier" project where two artists search in Paris for the fictional street where the novel takes place.…...read more »

Category: Classics in Translation

Editing Georges Perec

by Scott Esposito, January 29, 2010

Image of Editing Georges Perec
(Godine is publishing a new, corrected edition of Life A User's Manual and the first-ever English edition of Perec's essays collected in Thoughts of Sorts. I recently spoke with Susan Barba, an editor at Godine who worked on both of these books.) Scott Esposito: My first question has to do with…...read more »

Category: Classics in Translation

4 Gentle Persuasions: An Annotated List of 4 Quotations from the Works of Georges Perec (4)

by Laird Hunt, January 28, 2010

Image of 4 Gentle Persuasions: An Annotated List of 4 Quotations from the Works of Georges Perec (4)
4) “Grifalconi shook his head.  In one of the attics in Château de la Muette he had found the remains of a table.  Its oval top, wonderfully inlaid with mother-of-pearl, was exceptionally well preserved; but its base, a massive, spindle-shaped column of grained wood, turned out…...read more »

Category: Classics in Translation

4 Gentle Persuasions: An Annotated List of 4 Quotations from the Works of Georges Perec (3)

by Laird Hunt, January 27, 2010

Image of 4 Gentle Persuasions: An Annotated List of 4 Quotations from the Works of Georges Perec (3)
3) For years I put off telling the tale of my voyage to W. (Opening of W or The Memory of Childhood)   When near the end of his statement of intent Perec addresses the motivation behind so much apparent literary shape shifting, his tone changes. After suggesting, without much force, that we can…...read more »

Category: Classics in Translation

Work and Play: A Conversation with Warren Motte

by Martin Riker, January 26, 2010

Image of Work and Play: A Conversation with Warren Motte
Warren Motte is among the most vibrant and resourceful critics of French contemporary fiction in the world today. Professor of French and Italian at the University of Colorado, Boulder, he received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1981 with a dissertation on Georges Perec, which eventually…...read more »

Category: Classics in Translation

4 Gentle Persuasions: An Annotated List of 4 Quotations from the Works of Georges Perec (2)

by Laird Hunt, January 25, 2010

Image of 4 Gentle Persuasions: An Annotated List of 4 Quotations from the Works of Georges Perec (2)
2) We should learn to live more on staircases. But how? (species of spaces 38)   Perec’s actual and hypothetical leaping up and down, forward and backward, and diagonally and sidewise, etc. —sometimes all at once— between projects, as if his field of operations was an enormous…...read more »

Category: Classics in Translation

Reading “Life A User’s Manual”

by Geoff Wisner, January 21, 2010

Image of Reading “Life A User’s Manual”
In The Pattern in the Carpet, her recent memoir cum history of the jigsaw puzzle, Margaret Drabble pays tribute to Life A User's Manual by Georges Perec, an enormous experimental novel also concerned with jigsaw puzzles. Long experimental French novels don’t usually attract me, and Drabble…...read more »

Category: Classics in Translation

4 Gentle Persuasions: An Annotated List of 4 Quotations from the Works of Georges Perec (1)

by Laird Hunt, January 20, 2010

 1)  I write…               I write: I write…               I write: “I write…”              …...read more »

Category: Classics in Translation

Statement of Intent, by Georges Perec

by The Editors, January 19, 2010

Image of Statement of Intent, by Georges Perec
When I attempt to state what I have tried to do as a writer since I began, what occurs to me first of all is that I have never written two books of the same kind, or ever wanted to reuse a formula, or a system, or an approach already developed in some earlier work. This systematic versatility has baffled…...read more »

Category: Classics in Translation

Classics in Translation: Georges Perec

by Bud Parr, January 19, 2010

Image of Classics in Translation: Georges Perec
When I began reading Words Without Borders some years ago my first reaction was always "who the hell are these people?"  - the writers, that is, all these authors I'd never heard of. Well my mother always said a stranger is just someone you don't know yet, but we all know sometimes…...read more »