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Life: A User's Manual (1978)

por Georges Perec

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaDiscussões / Menções
3,794553,271 (4.26)1 / 250
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. Life is an unclassified masterpiece, a sprawling compendium as encyclopedic as Dante's Commedia and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and, in its break with tradition, as inspiring as Joyce's Ulysses. 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, like an onion being peeled, an extraordinary rich cast of characters is revealed in a series of tales that are bizarre, unlikely, moving, funny, or (sometimes) quite ordinary. From the confessions of a racing cyclist to the plans of an avenging murderer, from a young ethnographer obsessed with a Sumatran tribe to the death of a trapeze artist, from the fears of an ex-croupier to the dreams of a sex-change pop star to an eccentric English millionaire who has devised the ultimate pastime, Life is a manual of human irony, portraying the mixed marriages of fortunes, passions and despairs, betrayals and bereavements, of hundreds of lives in Paris and around the world. But the novel is more than an extraordinary range of fictions; it is a closely observed account of life and experience. The apartment block's one hundred rooms are arranged in a magic square, and the book as a whole is peppered with a staggering range of literary puzzles and allusions, acrostics, problems of chess and logic, crosswords, and mathematical formula. All are there for the reader to solve in the best tradition of the detective novel.… (mais)
  1. 20
    Pot Luck por Émile Zola (thorold)
    thorold: Paris apartment buildings dissected
  2. 10
    2666 por Roberto Bolaño (GeorgeWelzel)
  3. 10
    Hopscotch por Julio Cortázar (jshttnbm)
  4. 11
    The Savage Detectives por Roberto Bolaño (GeorgeWelzel)
  5. 00
    The Yacoubian Building por Alaa al-Aswani (hippietrail)
  6. 00
    The Glass Ocean por Lori Baker (RuthD.)
    RuthD.: In both books, there's a pursuit of suspending time, to document that which is lost, that which is on the verge of being lost, frozen into a past. Both are elliptical books, requiring concentration, attention, focus; both are deeply rewarding works of serious, emotionally-full literature.… (mais)
  7. 00
    Murder on the Orient Express por Agatha Christie (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Perec gives away its ending. Might want to read it first!
  8. 12
    Cloud Atlas por David Mitchell (knomad)
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» Ver também 250 menções

Inglês (36)  Francês (6)  Espanhol (3)  Italiano (3)  Holandês (2)  Norueguês (1)  Finlandês (1)  Catalão (1)  Alemão (1)  Todas as línguas (54)
Mostrando 1-5 de 54 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
One of the most bizarre books I have ever read. I'm not sure how to describe it, or whether it deserves one star or whether it deserves more stars than any rating system can provide. Laboriously cataloguing the lives, possessions, pasts and futures of the residents and rooms of an entire Parisian apartment building, Perec weaves little threads of puzzles throughout a dense narrative. It can be heavy-going to read, but at the same time feels immensely rewarding, even when you're not quite sure what that reward is.

Okay, this is the vaguest review I have EVER written, but I'm at a loss for words. It's certainly an astounding achievement, but I might need a few decades to figure out why I liked it... or even IF I did! ( )
  therebelprince | Apr 21, 2024 |
A series of scenes, snapshots of the same moment in time (almost 8:00 p.m. on June 23, 1975) in each room of an apartment complex in Paris, presented in a generally random order. I thought to read it as a series of short stories with some interlinking, but it doesn't really lend itself to that. For one thing, 'scenes' is a better descriptor than stories since there is practically no dialogue in these. For another, Perec explicitly opens with an essay about jigsaw puzzles, describing how each piece on its own reveals nothing until it is made part of the whole. It would be possible to 'sort' the pieces based on chapter headings, but even then you would not succeed at getting the entire story for any one character that way since some bits about their lives appear in other chapters; thus the pieces may be said to interlink.

Like any story told out of order, perceiving the whole in all its detail is possible but in this case requires more powers of memory and observation than I can bring to bear (I'm not terribly good at either.) An index is offered as an aid, but it runs to sixty pages. Perec at least somewhat relieves the task he's set by using straightforward language, making his pieces plain though very detailed, and he adds entertainment value to what threatens to be dry content with several nested stories that illuminate the occupants while also delving into the lives of several former residents and the building's history.

Why so many descriptions of the artworks in each room? I see a parallel between these and Perec's frozen-in-time rooms themselves; he is painting with literature. Laurence Sterne would have some satiric things to say about this, but Perec shows us the advantage of his medium: he can give us the backstory behind the scene, or at least clues with which to piece that backstory together. This metaphor also suggests a parallel between Perec and the declared aim of Bartlebooth as described in Chapter 26. He has made it his aim to produce scenes which can be perceived as puzzle pieces, that may be brought together to make a whole (a novel), but that whole does not need to have any ultimately deeper meaning in order to achieve his aesthetic aim.

The book offers another lesson or reminder; the mystery of the enormous variety in others' lives with which we are surrounded in our urban environments, as when you pass a few dozen cars on the freeway and have the idle thought of wondering about the business of each. I feel certain that Michael Hutchence was inspired by Perec when he co-wrote "The Stairs" for INXS. It is a melancholy song about isolation in the midst of a crowded space, a kind of starvation surrounded by plenty. Some of the song's lines are cribbed from this novel's opening scene (which is even titled "On the Stairs"). Conversely, Perec's denizens who surround one another are all explicitly linked together in some way, although what the whole looks like is left even more a mystery to them than it is to us. Hutchence and Perec reach the same conclusion, but Perec doesn't see any problem. His stairs, his entire building, is an end in itself that you are welcome to simply wash your mind clean of once more, like the empty building outline which Valene leaves behind. ( )
  Cecrow | Nov 28, 2023 |
Ein Haus, Paris, Rue Simon-Crubellier 11, 99 Zimmern, jedes Zimmer eine Geschichte, die zusammen ein Buch ergeben: „Das Leben, Gebrauchsanweisung“.

Die verrückten zerstreuten Geschichten einer Pariser Nachbarschaft, mit all ihren vielen Gesichtern: Zum Beispiel die Geschichte vom Akrobaten, der nicht mehr von seinem Trapez herunter wollte; Geschichte vom Hauptlagerverwalter, der die Beweise für ein Weiterleben Hitlers sammelte; Geschichte der Dame, die sich Nichten erfand; Geschichte es Innenarchitekten, der die Küche wieder abreißen ließ, auf die er so stolz war; die Geschichte vom Koch, der das Theater liebte; die Geschichte vom Juwelier, der dreimal ermordet wurdet wurde. Und viele, viele mehr.

Neben den Geschichten enthält das Buch unendlich viele Aufzählungen, unendlich viele Dinge werden im Detail beschrieben. Der Ton ist häufig ironisch, auch wenn viele Geschichten einen traurigen Ausgang haben.

Perec sagt über sein Buch: „Es ist ein Buch, das viel von der Leidenschaft erzählt, von der Leidenschaft der Leute für die unnützen Dinge.“

Im Grunde ist das ganze Buch, wie ein Puzzle, das aus 99 Zimmern besteht. Aber es ist auch die Erzählung eines einzigen Momentes, in dem etwas passiert, das ich euch nicht verrate.

Perec ist ein Magier der Sprache, auf eine Stufe zu stellen mit Jorge Luís Borges. Wer diesen mag, sollte unbedingt auch mal zu Perec greifen!

Perec hat noch einen interessanten Roman geschrieben, in dem er vollständig auf die Verwendung des Buchstaben "e" verzichtet: „Anton Voyls Fortgang“.
( )
  HelloB | Apr 11, 2023 |
A través de la alegoría que representa el puzzle, omnipresente en toda la novela y punto conductor de ella; se cuenta la historia de un edificio de París, de la vida que ha habido en cada una de sus habitaciones a través del paso del tiempo. Así nacen cientos de historias, cortas o largas, que nacen del recorrido minucioso y cadente de los plantas, los pisos, las habitaciones: se remueven los fantasmas de los que han vivido y las vidas de las que las pueblan.
  Natt90 | Feb 28, 2023 |
Imaginez un puzzle; un puzzle dont les pieces sont d'autres puzzles qui partagent des pieces entre elles; des pieces qui peuvent indifféremment être placées dans différents puzzles tout en conservant leurs caractéristiques (il est facile de l'imaginer: un fragment isolé de ciel sans nuage; un fragment d'un champ de fleurs ou un petit fragment de mur ou d'asphalte ou de mer ou ...) .

Et imaginez pouvoir assembler chaque puzzle sans avoir à détacher les pieces de l'autre avec lequel il les partage. Une imbrication d'énigmes multidimensionnelles avec de plans qui se croisent mais conservent toujours leur identité.
  claudio.marchisio | Sep 27, 2022 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 54 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
The appendices to Life: a user's manual seem to me less appended than integrated parts of the narrative, so much of which consists in clues, patterns, linkages, quests and resolutions. To follow a character or place through the text via the index, checklist, chronology, is to be led to other people, places and topics; only in this 'second reading' may some of the threads in the tapestry stand out to delineate the pieces of a pattern which was there all along but perhaps not perceived. Do read this manylayered, multi-dimensional book; then play with the endmatter and discover more of it.
adicionada por KayCliff | editarThe Indexer, Judy Batchelor (Apr 1, 1990)
 

» Adicionar outros autores (52 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Perec, Georgesautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Bellos, DavidTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Borger, EduTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Gundelach, Frants IverTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Keynäs, VilleTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Magné, BernardPrefácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Mari, EnzoTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Selvatico Estense, DaniellaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Walker, JoArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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To begin with, the art of jigsaw puzzles seems of little substance....

PART ONE, CHAPTER ONE
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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. Life is an unclassified masterpiece, a sprawling compendium as encyclopedic as Dante's Commedia and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and, in its break with tradition, as inspiring as Joyce's Ulysses. 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, like an onion being peeled, an extraordinary rich cast of characters is revealed in a series of tales that are bizarre, unlikely, moving, funny, or (sometimes) quite ordinary. From the confessions of a racing cyclist to the plans of an avenging murderer, from a young ethnographer obsessed with a Sumatran tribe to the death of a trapeze artist, from the fears of an ex-croupier to the dreams of a sex-change pop star to an eccentric English millionaire who has devised the ultimate pastime, Life is a manual of human irony, portraying the mixed marriages of fortunes, passions and despairs, betrayals and bereavements, of hundreds of lives in Paris and around the world. But the novel is more than an extraordinary range of fictions; it is a closely observed account of life and experience. The apartment block's one hundred rooms are arranged in a magic square, and the book as a whole is peppered with a staggering range of literary puzzles and allusions, acrostics, problems of chess and logic, crosswords, and mathematical formula. All are there for the reader to solve in the best tradition of the detective novel.

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