A Void (Verba Mundi) by Georges Perec

By Georges Perec

The 12 months is 1968, and as France is torn aside by way of social and political anarchy, the famous eccentric and insomniac Anton Vowl is going lacking. Ransacking his Paris flat, his top pals scour his diary for clues to his whereabouts. before everything look those pages exhibit not anything yet Vowl's penchant for be aware video games, specially for "lipograms," compositions within which using a specific letter is suppressed. yet because the associates determine Vowl's verbal puzzles, and as they examine numerous leads chanced on one of the entries, they too disappear, one after the other via one, and less than the main mysterious conditions ...

A Void is a metaphysical whodunit, a narrative chock-full of plots and subplots, of trails in pursuit of trails, all of which find the money for Perec get together to reveal his virtuosity as a verbal magician, acrobat, and sad-eyed clown. it's also an outrageous verbal stunt: a 300-page novel that by no means as soon as employs the letter E. Adair's translation, too, is fantastic; Time known as it "a daunting triumph of will pushing its manner via implementing roadblocks to a paranormal nation, an absurdist nirvana of humor, pathos, and loss."

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Additional resources for A Void (Verba Mundi)

Example text

Now Conson starts rummaging about a bulky cardboard box and finds a host of manuscripts proving to his satisfaction that his companion was thirsty for instruction, for Vowl, who was always an anal, finicky sort of chap, hadn't thrown out anything dating from his schooldays. Studying it rapdy, practically word by word, Amaury could thus follow from its halting origins all of what you might call Anton's curriculum studiorum. First, composition: Ld ou nous virions jadis, il n'y avait ni autos, ni taxis, ni autobus; nous allions parfois, mon cousin m'accompagnait, voir Linda qui habit ait dans un canton voisin.

It's as though a cunning troll or hobgoblin has sought to statufy all that is solid within and around this casino, to spray it with poison gas or coat it with varnish, incrusting surfacings and suffusing grains, controlling atoms and ions, so that nothing stays for long as it was. 21 Things may look normal-, if Ishmail looks at a thing or at an individual, it logically follows that that thing or individual is actually in front of him; a sound (a laugh, a cry, a jazzy riff) is just as loud in this world as in any normal world, an odour (of a blossom, of a woman's hair) just as fragrant to his nostrils.

You can't throw any light on its solution. Nobody can. " says Aignan with a roguish grin. "I must say you sound a bit of a show-off, you brattish boy, you, but I won't hold that against you. " So saying, with harp in paw, it hums aloud for an instant and, making an airy harp-string glissando, starts to sing. Which animal do you know That has a body as curving as a bow And draws back inwards as straight as an arrow? "Moi! " Aignan (no doubt a fan of Miss Piggy) shouts back at it. A frown furrows its horridly bulging brow.

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