W OR THE MEMORY OF CHILDHOOD by Georges Perec

W OR THE MEMORY OF CHILDHOOD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Perec (Life: A User's Manual, 1987) writes a small book here about enormous things. One of these consists of his childhood experiences as a half-Jewish boy being hidden by his Gentile relatives during the Nazi occupation of France. Another is a fantasy of an island off Tierra del Fuego--a society that is structured around athletic competition and that delights in the abasement of the individual and the encouragement of cruelty. The two texts, alternating as chapters, have a metaphorical Velcro about them--yet each alone is graceful enough. Perec writes about his childhood with just enough curiosity and equability to offset what are the fascist horrors of the sportsworld-gone-mad in the imaginary section. For all that, though, it's a forgettable trick--and there's hardly much here to either move or enchant.

Pub Date: Nov. 9th, 1988
ISBN: 1567921582
Publisher: Godine