An affectionate portrait of mid-century Paris and a daring pointillist autobiography by Georges Perec, a master of postmodern fiction.
The text of this memoir-through-memories consists of 480 numbered statements, all beginning identically with "I remember" -- all limited to pieces of public knowledge, brand names and folk wisdom, actors and illnesses, places and things ("I remember Hermès handbags, with their tiny padlocks").
As playful and puzzling as the best of Perec's novels, I Remember
began as a simple writing exercise, and grew into an expansive, exhilarating work of art: the image of one unmistakable and irreplaceable life, shaped from the material of our collective past. For this edition, Perec's 480 memories, sometimes obvious, sometimes obscure, have been elucidated and explained by critic, translator, and Perec biographer, David Bellos.
About the Author
Georges Perec was a French essayist, novelist, memoirist, and filmmaker. Born in Paris in 1936, the child of Polish Jews, his father died as soldier in the Second World War and his mother was killed in the Holocaust. Much of his work dealt with themes of identity, loss, absence--including his most celebrated work, Life A User's Manual.
In addition to being honored by the Prix Renaudot (1965), the Prix Jean Vigo (1974), the Prix Médicis (1978), and the French postal service (2002), both an asteroid and a street in Paris were named in his honor--as well as a Google Doodle on his 80th birthday.
David Bellos, Director of the Program in Translation at Princeton University, is also the translator of Georges Perec's Life A User's Manual and a winner of the Goncourt Prize for biography. He has translated seven of Ismail Kadare's novels, and in 2005 was awarded the Man Booker International Prize for his translations of Kadare's work.
Philip Terry was born in Belfast in 1962 and has been working with Oulipian and related writing practices for over twenty years. His lipogrammatic novel The Book of Bachelors (1999), was highly praised by the Oulipo: Enormous rigour, great virtuosity but that's the least of it. Currently he is Director of Creative Writing at the University of Essex, where he teaches a graduate course on the poetics of constraint. His work has been published in Panurge, PN Review, Oasis, North American Review, and Onedit, and his books include the celebrated anthology of short stories Ovid Metamorphosed (2000) and Fables of Aesop (2006). His translation of Raymond Queneau's last book of poems, Elementary Morality, is forthcoming from Carcanet. Oulipoems is his first book of poetry.