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Dump This Book While You Still Can! (Stages Series) Paperback – 1 Nov 2001


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Review

"... a provocative analysis of how author and reader conspire to create the experience of perusing and inhabiting a text. Meanwhile, Rendall's witty and resourceful translation is a rare pleasure unto itself. Great fun." - Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Marcel Benabou, author of more than a dozen books, lives in Paris and pursues his current positions as professor of ancient history at the University of Paris and as the permanent provisional secretary of Oulipo. His Jacob, Menahem, and Mimoun (Nebraska 1998) won the National Jewish Book Award for autobiography. Steven Rendall is the author of Distinguo: Reading Montaigne Differently and has translated numerous books. Warren Motte, a professor of French at the University of Colorado, is the translator and editor of Oulipo: A Primer of Potential Literature (Nebraska 1986) and Playtexts: Ludics in Contemporary Literature (Nebraska 1995).

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Amazon.com: 1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Fun Book For The Imperfect Reader 4 Mar 2007
By Brenna Collins - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A slender tome with a title that veritably calls out from amongst the stacks, M. Benabou's Dump This Book While You Still Can! is a satisfyingly unusual work of prose. There is no traditional plot line to speak of. In fact, the entire book revolves around a singular setting - a bachelor's Parisian apartment - and features a cast of vibrant characters, of whom only one (the narrator) plays a prominent role.

The story itself (if we may refer to the narrative as such) revolves around the simple act of reading, only made not-so-simple by the rather obsessive narrator. An obscure, unfamiliar book surfaces in the narrator's home, which opens with a hostile diatribe against reading any further: "Come on, dump this book. Or better yet, throw it as far as away as you can. Right now. Before it's too late." Being the literary (and charmingly pretentious) sort, the narrator initially takes umbrage with this form of address and dutifully scoffs the author's feeble attempt (he says) at gaining one's attention. Before too long, though, the narrator decides that his visceral reaction is somewhat extreme, and begins to dissect the text for depths previously unseen.

And it is this struggle of which the book's primary conflict is comprised. It is, in fact, quite challenging to discuss more without spoiling the story for those who have not read it (as made evident, unfortunately, by the otherwise wonderful and enlightening introduction by Warren Motte).

M. Benabou plumbs the human condition in this brief tale through the somewhat detached viewpoint of a lonely man who does not see his own predicament. Written in an academic (yet ironic) vein, Dump This Book presents a character study of a special kind of bibliophile, by way of a memorably wry voice.
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