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Species of Spaces and Other Pieces: Georges Perec (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics) [Paperback]

Georges Perec , John Sturrock
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Species of Spaces and Other Pieces (Penguin Classics) Species of Spaces and Other Pieces (Penguin Classics) 4.4 out of 5 stars (7)
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Book Description

30 Oct 1997 Penguin Twentieth Century Classics
Georges Perec, author of the highly acclaimed Life: A User's Manual, was only forty-six when he died in 1982. Despite a tragic childhood, during which his mother was deported to Auschwitz, Perec produced some of the most entertaining essays of the age. His literary output was deliberately varied in form and style and this generous selection of Perec's non-fictional work, the first to appear in English, demonstrates his characteristic lightness of touch, wry humour and accessibility. As he contemplates the many ways in which we occupy the space around us, as he depicts the commonplace items with which we are familiar in a startling, engrossing way, as he recounts his psychoanalysis while remaining reticent about his feelings or depicts the Paris of his childhood without a trace of sentimentality, we become aware that we are in the presence of a remarkable, virtuoso writer.

Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (30 Oct 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140189866
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140189865
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 13 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 429,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

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. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Originally commissioned by his architect friend, Species of Spaces is a meditation on the spaces which we occupy and the ways in which we order them. Forming the main section of this book, it is also one of its highlights: original, informed and often witty. It's a piece which takes a fresh look at what surrounds us, offering a refreshing perspective on how we live. The rest of the book is taken up with a collection of pieces ranging from the autobiographical to the surreal. Some of these pieces are extremely compelling pieces of storytelling, while others give you an insight into the oblique perspective of Perec. Occasionally, however, there is a weaker piece which, being a completist text, it is naturally hard to avoid. But this considered, as a whole the book is a special collection which should form part of any Perec fan's bookcase.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars spaces in words 18 Oct 2009
this is one of the most beautiful and accessible works by Georges Perec. An essay on the way in which we use space and how we might consider other forms of inhabitation from our bedroom to the universe. It's lightness would have delighted his friend and collaborator Italo Calvino (see Six Memos for the Next Millennium (Penguin Modern Classics)). It's full of humour and linguistic dexterity but also pathos. if there are shortcomings in the world we live in, perhaps these are our own responsibility for not caring and not looking deeply or imaginatively at the what surrounds us. One of my favourite books and most repeated gift to friends.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Question your teaspoons! 23 Oct 2002
By A Customer
I'm a big fan of Mr Perec and other Oulipo writers, and I reckon this is a fine introduction to his range and vitality as a writer. I return to the different pieces again and again, they are thought-provoking and insightful by turns. Especially good are Think/classify, the title-piece and his thoughts on fashion. In these short works, his interest in penetrating the world we inhabit through the things around us often termed mundane is really refreshing. Sociology is made accessible here and distilled with literary and linguistic knowledge to make a quite unique mix.
For such a technical master, Perec also manages to move on an emotive level - Rue Vilin is a piece about periodic returns to the street where his ma lived before she was taken by the Nazis. Also, the analysis of his psycho analysis is revealing without ever saying too much.
Finally, the translations manage to keep the readability of the selections very well I thought.
One criticism is that there were not more pieces included, perhaps some more Oulipo related work might have been put in - there is not much of this translated into English, although it is maybe not the easiest of tasks to do well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars bit wild but good buy 10 Jun 2013
By claire
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book arrived quickly and it's a great book for architecture students, although it is quite confusing! I'm sure it will last me over the years to come!
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