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The End of Oulipo?

The End of Oulipo? My book (co-authored with Lauren Elkin), published by Zero Books. Available everywhere. Order it from Amazon, or find it in bookstores nationwide. The End of Oulipo

Lady Chatterley’s Brother

Lady Chatterley's Brother. The first ebook in the new TQC Long Essays series, Lady Chatterley's Brothercalled “an exciting new project” by Chad Post of Open Letter and Three Percent. Why can't Nicholson Baker write about sex? And why can Javier Marias? We investigate why porn is a dead end, and why seduction paves the way for the sex writing of the future. Read an excerpt.

Available now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and direct from this site:


Translate This Book!

Ever wonder what English is missing? Called "a fascinating Life Perecread" by The New Yorker, Translate This Book! brings together over 40 of the top translators, publishers, and authors to tell us what books need to be published in English. Get it on Kindle.

For low prices on Las Vegas shows visit LasVegas.ShowTickets.com

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Group Reads

The Tunnel

Fall Read: The Tunnel by William H. Gass

A group read of the book that either "engenders awe and despair" or "[goads] the reader with obscenity and bigotry," or both. Info here. Buy the book here and support this site.

Naked Singularity

Summer Read: A Naked Singularity by Sergio De La Pava

Fans of Gaddis, Pynchon, DeLillo: A group read of the book that went from Xlibris to the University of Chicago Press. Info here. Buy the book here and support this site.

Life Perec

Life A User's Manual by Georges Perec

Starting March 2011, read the greatest novel from an experimental master. Info here. Buy the book here and support this site.

Last Samurai

Fall Read: The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt

A group read of one of the '00s most-lauded postmodern novels. Info here. Buy the book here and support this site.

Tale of Genji

The Summer of Genji

Two great online lit magazines team up to read a mammoth court drama, the world's first novel.

Your Face Tomorrow

Your Face This Spring

A 3-month read of Javier Marias' mammoth book Your Face Tomorrow

Shop though these links = Support this site


Ten Memorable Quotes from William Gaddis’ Letters

New Books
Here are ten of my favorite moments from these hugely interesting letters.


Interviews from Conversational Reading

New Books
See this page for interviews with leading authors, translators, publishers, and more.


  • A Legacy by Sybille Bedford March 15, 2015
    Sybille Bedford had the benefit—or bad fortune, however you see it—of being born into the German aristocracy in 1911. Her father was a retired lieutenant colonel and art collector from the agrarian south, from a Roman Catholic family in fiscal decline. Her mother came from a wealthy German-Jewish family from Hamburg. A widower from his first marriage, Bedfor […]
  • Reviving Antal Szerb March 15, 2015
    Antal Szerb’s lithe, lively, and wholly endearing fiction is peopled by male dreamers on spiritual journeys of self-discovery. Each one sets out on his respective mini-mission with good intentions but knows from the outset that there are only so many harsh truths he can withstand. In this respect, all Szerb’s protagonists seem to have heeded the advice of Gr […]
  • 39 Africans Walk into a Bar March 15, 2015
    New anthologies of African fiction seem to materialize virtually every year, if not more often in recent years. When presented with the physical fact of yet another new anthology of African fiction, the immediate question, one which I was asked when I pressed the warm, bound pages of the Africa39 anthology into the even warmer hands of a new acquaintance, wa […]
  • The Country Road by Regina Ullmann March 15, 2015
    This collection of short stories, her first to appear in English, counters material poverty with a fulfilling and deeply spiritual relationship with the natural world. Ullmann herself was no stranger to hardship. A depressive, she was plagued by personal and professional crises. Financial constraints forced her to send her illegitimate children to the countr […]
  • The Fall of Language in the Age of English by Minae Mizumura March 14, 2015
    The Fall of Language in the Age of English stirred up debate upon its publication in Japan in 2008, and it’s possible it will do so in the U.S. with its arrival in Mari Yoshihara and Juliet Winters Carpenter's translation. In their introduction, Yoshihara and Winters Carpenter, point out that Japanese reviewers accused Mizumura of being a jingoist, an e […]
  • Another View: Tracing the Foreign in Literary Translation by Eduard Stoklosinski March 14, 2015
    Another View demonstrates exciting potential in translation study and praxis. It is especially significant in deconstructing assumptions about fluency and linguistic identity. The author makes some persuasive arguments for considering and even preferring non-native translation of texts, the most controversial of which is the possibility that linguistic compe […]
  • The Latest Five from Dalkey Archive’s “Library of Korea” Series March 14, 2015
    Despite South Korea having the kind of vibrant literary scene you'd expect from a country with one of the highest literacy rates in the world, we're still not exactly inundated with English translations of South Korean fiction. Given this dearth, Dalkey Archive Press's Library of Korean Literature series, twenty five titles published in collab […]
  • B & Me: A True Story of Literary Arousal by J.C. Hallman March 14, 2015
    here’s a conspicuous history of books that simply should not work: Books like U & I by Nicholson Baker, a book-length exercise in “memory criticism,” where Baker traces Updike’s influence on his own writing life while studiously not actually re-reading any of Updike’s books. Or books like Out of Sheer Rage, Geoff Dyer’s book that procrastinates away from […]
  • The Valerie Miles Interview March 14, 2015
    The idea was to uncover the secret life of these texts, why do their creators consider them their best work? What’s the clandestine, the underground, the surreptitious meaning or attachment? Where’s the kernel, the seed from which a body of work grew, what the driving obsession? Is it something sentimental, something technical, maybe even something spiritual […]
  • On Being Blue by William H. Gass March 14, 2015
    Look up at the sky, or down into the ocean, and what color do you see? We see blue, but not Homer—he never once employs the term throughout The Iliad and The Odyssey, famously calling the sea "wine-dark" and the heavens "bronze." Neither did the Greek philosopher Xenophanes say blue—he described the rainbow as having only three colors. Th […]

Life A User’s Manual Big Read Schedule

In this post you’ll find the reading schedule for the 2011 Life A User’s Manual Big Read, plus a list of resources and books you may want to have a look at in conjunction with the read.

The read will start on Sunday, March 13, one week after we launch the spring issue of The Quarterly Conversation. If you want to join in, this is the text we’ll be working with.

One note: I’m only including pages up through page 569 of the Godine corrected edition in this schedule. You are encouraged to read the Appendices in conjunction with the read, but I’m not going to include them on this schedule.

Schedule

Week 1: March 13 – March 19: Preamble plus Part 1 (pp. XV – 89)
Week 2: March 20 – March 26: First half of Part 2 (pp. 93 – 173)
Week 3: March 27 – April 2: Second half of Part 2 and First half of Part 3 (pp. 173 – 273)
Week 4: April 3 – April 9: Second half of Part 3 (pp. 274 – 344)
Week 5: April 10 – April 16: Part 4 (pp. 347 – 459)
Week 6: April 17 – April 23: Part 5 (pp. 463 – 521)
Week 7: April 24 – April 30: Part 6 + Epilogue (pp. 525 – 569)
Week 8: May 1 – May 7: Concluding thoughts & discussions

Books

Oulipo: A Primer of Potential Literature, edited by Warren Motte
Oulipo in their own words. A collection of writings by members of the Oulipo group, including Italo Calvino, Harry Mathews, Georges Perec, Jacques Roubad, and Raymond Queneau.
Georges Perec issue of the Review of Contemporary Fiction
Essays about Perec, and some texts by him.
Georges Perec: A Life in Words by David Bellos
Gigantic biography of Perec by the translator of Life.
The Orchard: A Remembrance of Georges Perec by Harry Mathews

Web Resources

Georges Perec at Words Without Borders
Reading Georges Perec from CONTEXT
Georges Perec at The Scriptorium
Paul Auster’s New York Times Review of Life
Oulipo information

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More from Conversational Reading:

  1. Spring 2011 Big Read: Life A Users Manual We have chosen our Big Read for this spring, and it is Life A User's Manual by Georges Perec. Thanks to everyone who voted. If...
  2. Life: A User's Manual In Life: A User’s Manual, Georges Perec describes a rarely visited tribe deep within Sumatra. An anthropologist is trying to understand the habits of the...
  3. Not Even Death Can Save You Artforum reports on the recent gathering of Oulipo in NYC: As noted by poet and memoirist Honor Moore (the Host), the six readers are Oulipians...
  4. Life A User's Manual Something tells me Georges Perec would find all this ruckus over plagiarism silly. From Life A User’s Manual: . . . and Moriane with its...
  5. Your Face This Spring Okay, let’s do this. Starting this spring, I’m going to read Javier Marias’ Your Face Tomorrow trilogy. Whoever wants to join me on this...

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