Life: A User's Manual: Revised Edition

Overview

Over twenty years ago, Godine published the first English translation of Georges Perec's masterpiece, Life A User's Manual, hailed by the Times Literary Supplement, Boston Globe, and others as "one of the great novels of the century." We are now proud to announce a newly revised twentieth anniversary edition of Life. Carefully prepared, with many corrections, this edition of Life A User's Manual will be the preferred reference edition for the future.Structured around a single moment in time - 8:00 P.M. on June ...
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Overview

Over twenty years ago, Godine published the first English translation of Georges Perec's masterpiece, Life A User's Manual, hailed by the Times Literary Supplement, Boston Globe, and others as "one of the great novels of the century." We are now proud to announce a newly revised twentieth anniversary edition of Life. Carefully prepared, with many corrections, this edition of Life A User's Manual will be the preferred reference edition for the future.Structured around a single moment in time - 8:00 P.M. on June 23, 1975 - Perec's spellbinding puzzle begins in an apartment block in the XVIIth arrondissement of Paris where, chapter by chapter, room by room, an extraordinarily rich cast of characters is revealed in a series of tales that are bizarre, unlikely, moving, funny, or (sometimes) quite ordinary.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Though Perec (1936-1982) is ``experimental'' in the tradition of Joyce and Nabokovhis work is rich with word games and acrostics that reveal the secret life of languagethis euphoric novel, winner of the Prix Medicis, will enchant a range of readers. The serial storytelling within the framework narrative is as beguiling and inexhaustible as Scheherazade's. The facade is removed from a Parisian apartment house on the Rue Simon-Crubellier, permitting us to spy on its tenants in the grid of rooms and to examine their pictures and bibelots. Books, letters, clippings and announcements add to the textual welter, all interlocking like pieces of a puzzle, the novel's chief metaphor. Tales told in stylishly reinvented genresromance, detection, adventureconstitute what is experienced, read about or dreamed up by an array of restaurateurs, mediums, cyclists, antique dealers and pious widows. A quester for the Nile tries to rescue a beautiful German girl from a harem. A judge's wife, whose sexually thrilling thefts result in a sentence of hard labor, ends as a bag lady on a park bench. Meanwhile a team of eccentric artists, Bartlebooth, Winckler and Valene, enact the creative process, painting watercolor seascapes, cutting them apart with a jigsaw and reassembling them as smoothly as ``an oily sea closing over a drowning man.'' The image of a splendidly wrought table, its interior fretted by patient worms, succinctly and differently restates the process. This is a classic of contemporary fiction. (November 5)
Library Journal
``The eye follows the paths that have been laid down for it in the work,'' begins Perec's encyclopedic novel, which details everything, animate and inamimate, in an imaginary apartment house. His characters unfailingly do the least expected: Laurelle, killed at her own wedding by a falling chandelier; Ingeborn, who casts a white actor as Otello; Gregoire, fired from a vegetarian restaurant for pouring beef extract in the vegetable soup; a judge's wife sentenced to hard labor. The author reserves the greatest irony for Percival Bartlebooth, like himself an artist. Bartlebooth paints watercolors that are made into jigsaw puzzles, then reverses the process until he has a perfectly blank sheet. Creation and dissolution are the themes in this highly entertaining work, itself a puzzle. Lisa Mullenneaux, Iowa City, Iowa
Paul Auster
"Those who have a taste for the unusual, for books that creates world unto themselves, would be dazzled by this crazy - quilt monument to the imagination." -- The New York Times Book Review
Richard Eder
"Perec's artistry has achieved a perfect balance between allure and inponderability...it is like tracking patridge through the autumn woods. Every bit of red and gold dabble should be scanned...Perec's words explodes with life and it would be a pit to lose any." -- The Los Angeles Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781567923735
  • Publisher: Godine, David R. Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/20/2009
  • Edition description: Bilingual
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 704
  • Sales rank: 334,497
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Preamble xv
Part 1
1 On the Stairs, 1 3
2 Beaumont, 1 6
3 Third Floor Right, 1 10
4 Marquiseaux, 1 13
5 Foulerot, 1 16
6 Breidel (Servants' Quarters, 1) 17
7 Morellet (Servants' Quarters, 2) 20
8 Winckler, 1 25
9 Nieto and Rogers (Servants' Quarters, 3) 33
10 Jane Sutton (Servants' Quarters, 4) 35
11 Hutting, 1 37
12 Reol, 1 40
13 Rorschach, 1 42
14 Dinteville, 1 49
15 Smautf (Servants' Quarters, 5) 51
16 Celia Crespi (Servants' Quarters, 6) 58
17 On the Stairs, 2 59
18 Rorschach, 2 62
19 Altamont, 1 66
20 Moreau, 1 68
21 In the Boiler Room, 1 73
Part 2
22 Entrance Hall, 1 81
23 Moreau, 2 95
24 Marcia, 1 101
25 Altamont, 2 105
26 Bartlebooth, 1 113
27 Rorschach, 3 119
28 On the Stairs, 3 125
29 Third Floor Right, 2 131
30 Marquiseaux, 2 134
31 Beaumont, 3 137
32 Marcia, 2 151
33 Basement, 1 153
34 On the Stairs, 4 157
35 The Concierge's Office 161
36 On the Stairs, 5 166
37 Louvet, 1 167
38 Lift Machinery, 1 168
39 Marcia, 3 171
40 Beaumont, 4 174
41 Marquiseaux, 3 179
42 On the Stairs, 6 183
43 Foulerot, 2 184
44 Winckler, 2 189
45 Plassaert, 1 195
Part 3
46 Monsieur Jerome (Servants' Quarters, 7) 203
47 Dinteville, 2 207
48 Madame Albin (Servants' Quarters, 8) 210
49 On the Stairs, 7 213
50 Foulerot, 3 220
51 Valene (Servants' Quarters, 9) 226
52 Plassaert, 2 234
53 Winckler, 3 241
54 Plassaert, 3 247
55 Fresnel (Servants' Quarters, 10) 254
56 On the Stairs, 8 262
57 Madame Orlowska (Servants' Quarters, 11) 264
58 Gratiolet, 1 271
59 Hutting, 2 276
60 Cinoc, 1 285
61 Berger, 1 291
62 Altamont, 3 295
63 Service Entrance 300
64 In the Boiler Room, 2 301
Part 4
65 Moreau, 3 307
66 Marcia, 4 318
67 Basement, 2 325
68 On the Stairs, 9 327
69 Altamont, 4 329
70 Bartlebooth, 2 331
71 Moreau, 4 340
72 Basement, 3 344
73 Marcia, 5 348
74 Lift Machinery, 2 358
75 Marcia, 6 361
76 Basement, 4 365
77 Louvet, 2 369
78 On the Stairs, 10 371
79 On the Stairs, 11 380
80 Bartlebooth, 3 383
81 Rorschach, 4 393
82 Gratiolet, 2 395
83 Hutting, 3 398
Part 5
84 Cinoc, 2 409
85 Berger, 2 414
86 Rorschach, 5 417
87 Bartlebooth, 4 420
88 Altamont, 5 436
89 Moreau, 5 447
90 Entrance Hall, 2 451
91 Basement, 5 455
92 Louvet, 3 458
Part 6
93 Third Floor Right, 3 463
94 On the Stairs, 12 465
95 Rorschach, 6 468
96 Dinteville, 3 473
97 Hutting, 4 480
98 Reol, 2 484
99 Bartlebooth, 5 493
Epilogue 499
11, Rue Simon-Crubellier 501
Appendices 503
Index 505
Chronology 565
Alphabetical Checklist 573
Postscript 579
Translator's Note 581
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2011

    Not a bilingual edition

    as listed by B&N

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