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W, or, The memory of childhood

Author: Georges Perec
Publisher: Boston : D.R. Godine, 1988.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Fiction : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
From the author of Life: A User's Manual (Godine, 1987) comes an equally astonishing novel: W or The Memory of Childhood, a narrative that reflects a great writer's effort to come to terms with his childhood and his part in the Nazi occupation of France. Guaranteed to send shock waves through the literary community, Perec's W tells two parallel stories. The first is autobiographical, describing the author's wartime  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Fiction
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Perec, Georges, 1936-1982.
W, or, The memory of childhood.
Boston : D.R. Godine, 1988
(OCoLC)756453722
Material Type: Fiction
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Georges Perec
ISBN: 0879237562 9780879237561 9781567921588 1567921582
OCLC Number: 18164714
Notes: Translation of: W, ou, Le souvenir d'enfance.
Description: 164 pages ; 22 cm
Other Titles: W, ou, Le souvenir d'enfance.
W.
Memory of childhood
Responsibility: Georges Perec ; translated by David Bellos.

Abstract:

From the author of Life: A User's Manual (Godine, 1987) comes an equally astonishing novel: W or The Memory of Childhood, a narrative that reflects a great writer's effort to come to terms with his childhood and his part in the Nazi occupation of France. Guaranteed to send shock waves through the literary community, Perec's W tells two parallel stories. The first is autobiographical, describing the author's wartime boyhood. The second tale, denser, more disturbing, more horrifying, is the allegorical story of W, a mythical island off Tierra del Fuego governed by the thrall of the Olympic "ideal," where losers are tortured and winners held in temporary idolatry. As the reader soon discovers, W is a place where "it is more important to be lucky than to be deserving," and "you have to fight to live...[with] no recourse, no mercy, no salvation, not even any hope that time will sort things out." Here, sport is glorified and victors honored, but athletes are vilified, losers executed, rape common, stealing encouraged and violence a fact of life. Perec's interpretive vision of the Holocaust forces us to ask the question central to our time: How did this happen before our eyes? How did we look at those "shells of skin and bone, ashen faced, with their backs permanently bent, their eyes full of panic and their suppurating sores"? How did this happen, not on W, but before millions of spectators, some horrified, some cheering, some indifferent, but all present at the games watching the events of that grisly arena?

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