THINGS by Georges Perec


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Let it be first of all by their presence that objects and gestures impose themselves...."" This is Robbe-Grillet's formulation of the aesthetic which demands the inevitable comparison with sociologist Georges Perec's novel as it relentlessly inventories things, the material objectives of a young couple's upward social mobility....""fake Epinal prints, English-style engravings, agates, spun-glass tumblers, neo-barbarian knicknacks, para-scientific bric-a-brac"" etc. ETC. Avid and acquisitive, Jerome and Sylvie in their early twenties, some six years older by the close, are psycho-sociologists (interviewers); they have no traditions or values; they confuse happiness with possession; in a febrile, oppressive, obsessive fashion they annotate the world in which they are the ""prisoners of abundance."" Perec's short novel then is more than one kind of object lesson: for all the accuracy of his magpie eye, it also reveals that the novel must be more than a text or a technique: externals are not alive.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1967
Publisher: Grove