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W, or the Memory of Childhood

W, or the Memory of Childhood By Georges Perec David Bellos W or the Memory of Childhood Combining fiction and autobiography in a quite unprecedented way Georges Perec leads the reader inexorably towards the horror that lies at the origin of the post World War Two world and at the crux o

  • Title: W, or the Memory of Childhood
  • Author: Georges Perec David Bellos
  • ISBN: 9781567921588
  • Page: 127
  • Format: Paperback
  • W, or the Memory of Childhood By Georges Perec David Bellos Combining fiction and autobiography in a quite unprecedented way, Georges Perec leads the reader inexorably towards the horror that lies at the origin of the post World War Two world and at the crux of his own identity.
    W, or the Memory of Childhood By Georges Perec David Bellos

    • [PDF] W, or the Memory of Childhood | by õ Georges Perec David Bellos
      127 Georges Perec David Bellos

    One thought on “W, or the Memory of Childhood

    1. Garima on said:

      Sometimes the face of an author or the title of a book conceals a lot than what it is capable of revealing and the same happened when I picked this book My first Perec and I expected something completely different from what was eventually encountered W, or The Memory of Childhood is a revelation of unconventional sorts where the measured doses of harrowing truth are served in a fantastical glass bowl, which is destined or susceptible to break sooner than later.She died without understanding.And [...]

    2. Geoff on said:

      Like Federman s body of work, here Perec is undertaking the terrible task of writing around the Shoah For Perec, such a task is unavoidable, if he, as a writer, is to write an autobiography As he says somewhere near the beginning of this book, he has no childhood memories, his history was written for him by History itself W, the double V, dooble veh, twin Vs side by side, as a symbol manipulable into any number of iterations turn it upside down it becomes the M of memory, join the twin Vs at the [...]

    3. MJ Nicholls on said:

      Perec s novel is one of the most incredible, inventive, stupefying, humble, and devastating books to indirectly confront the Holocaust A masterpiece, as this quote proves How can you explain that what he is seeing is not anything horrific, not a nightmare, not something he will suddenly wake from, something he can rid his mind of How can you explain that this is life, real life, this is what there ll be every day, this is what there is, and nothing else, that it s pointless believing something e [...]

    4. Vit Babenco on said:

      For years I sought out traces of my history, looking up maps and directories and piles of archives I found nothing, and it sometimes seemed as though I had dreamt, that there had been only an unforgettable nightmare W, or the Memory of Childhood is a duad of parallel narrations first is a true story of the childhood, ruined by the war and fascism, and the second is a pure fiction of Olympic utopia A triple theme runs through this memory parachute, sling, truss it suggests suspension, support, al [...]

    5. Fionnuala on said:

      If you are thinking about reading W, you probably need some incentives to pick up a copy, apart from star ratings and, be warned, after reading W, you way have unpleasant reactions to ratings in general in the future So here are some incentives try to imagine writing a memoir of your childhood between the ages of three and nine, set in the period from 1939 to 1945 Imagine that you have only a few photos and that your own fairly vivid memories don t always match the accounts of relatives or the e [...]

    6. Whitaker on said:

      Kay, I guess this book was not bad It kinda worked for me, but then again, it didn t I mean, this guy is George frigging Perec, the guy who wrote stuff like La Disparition and Esp ces d espaces, so he s really super intelligent And this book is very well constructed There re two stories that are being told One is Perec s own childhood as a Jewish child in occupied France He escapes the camps by being placed in a Catholic boarding school sort of like Louis Malle s Au revoir, les enfants but less [...]

    7. Ümit on said:

      ok iyi be Perec, her zamanki gibi ok iyi.Asl nda kitab n ikinci b l m , ilk nce bir hayli s k c geldi More un topya s n n sportif bir versiyonuydu zira, W lkesinde anlat lan Oysa sat rlar ilerledik e i nas l da de i ti, nas l da istedi i yere yava yava getirdi laf Perec Paralel ilerleyen an lar k sm da, bir envanter stad olarak bildi imiz Perec in kusursuz anlat m yla doluydu Hakk nda bir dolu ey rendim ayr ca, mesela en ba ta, asl nda Polonyal oldu unu bunu bilmemek belki de benim ay b md Ayr c [...]

    8. Stephen Durrant on said:

      Georges Perec s death in his mid forties was almost as big a loss for the world of French literature as the similarly early death of Albert Camus His was a most rich and creative mind, as his complex novel Life, a User s Novel probably best illustrates W, the short novel autobiography under review here, like the French double V, is made up of two connected narratives, presented in alternating chapters One is comprised of fragmentary memories from Perec s childhood as an orphaned Jew, whose fathe [...]

    9. Jeff Jackson on said:

      UPDATE For those of you who ve caught Olympic fever, this is the novel to read after the games It ll shade your memory of the decathlon and many other track field events Perec s book has been haunting me in unexpected ways as I tune into the coverage 4.5 stars An affecting mix of autobiographical fragments, a page turning mystery involving a strange letter, and a slightly schematic description of a society of athletes These parallel narratives deal with the unreliable nature of memory, the seduc [...]

    10. Adam Floridia on said:

      Fair warning, this review is going to be mostly quotations and a couple of personal meanderings When I was thirteen I made up a story which I told and drew in pictures Later I forgot it Seven years ago, one evening, in Venice I suddenly remembered that this story was Called W and that it was, in a way, if not the story of my childhood, then at least a story of my childhood.W is no like my Olympic fantasy than that Olympic fantasy was like my childhood But in the crisscross web they weave as in [...]

    11. Sam on said:

      Certainly less mind bending and self consciously linguistically assured than Perec s other work, W nevertheless carries its own particular pleasures, and I would set it on the same shelf as A Void and Life A User s Manual, although for entirely different reasons Generally when it comes to Perec you re looking for amazing prose, or maybe for something rarefied, even, like the generative workings of a lively mind released free form onto the page W is not that sort of book, by any means, even if t [...]

    12. Lee on said:

      Five total pages of five star Perecian prose The memoir stuff seemed truthful yet underdeveloped The Kafkan report on the Darwinian society of uber athletes at times kicked some serious scary allegorical ass pre race battling and the spoils of victory but often felt numerically obsessive flat, which makes sense I guess as a way to approach the extreme systemic rationality built over the extreme demonic irrationality of Nazi atrocity, but still, not so hot to read The tenuous connection between t [...]

    13. Esther on said:

      C est un livre magnifique que j ai relu avec plaisir, mais moins d empressement que la premi re fois.La partie autobiographique m a toutefois beaucoup plus impressionn e la seconde lecture La construction de la m moire par l criture, probl me classique de l autobiographie ressass e depuis Saint Simon prend ici des allures diff rentes La m moire fait constamment d faut Le narrateur cherche dans les art facts de sa jeunesse, vieilles photos ou lieux revisit s dans les ann es 70, le souvenir de son [...]

    14. Sam on said:

      Pour E Pour eux Je ne retrouverai jamais, dans mon ressassement m me, que l ultime reflet d une parole absente et l criture, le scandale de leur silence et de mon silence je n cria spas pour dire que je ne dirai rien, je n cris pas pour dire que je n ai rien dire W ou le souvenir d enfance est un livre compos de fragments, des fragments de souvenirs perdus dans un pass trouble et palpable la fois, o Perec s approprie des actes dont il a t parfois le t moin, il erre dans un brouillard en se raccr [...]

    15. E on said:

      Second half brings it home What starts out as an attempt at clearing bleary recollection and memory of lineage becomes a story as per the composite of the two of how bigger and far unjust forces in this case, the cruelty of rules and whimsies in W, and the Holocaust eclipse the particularities and curiosities of one s individual life, the truth or immovability of which continues to persist despite its apparent and revolting menace How can you explain that this is life, real life, this is what t [...]

    16. Ben Winch on said:

      I didn t get this A gutpunch , as one reader would have it Hell, maybe all that core conditioning in karate is paying off, cos my guts were unscathed Me, I found this dry, vapid, very tenuous The link between the two strands I found slight, the link between the first and second halves of the second strand ie the Land of W part non existent, the whole thing half baked though not a bad if risky idea in theory Oh, and I thought the analogy olympics to concentration camp was a stretch The thing that [...]

    17. Pečivo on said:

      V t to knize se Perec sna d t dohromady st pky sv ho d tstv na kter nem mnoho vzpom nek A j mu pln rozum m S m toti nev m asi a do m ch 10ti let, kter bije A toluen sem ne uchal Jen p rkrat omylem edidlo, kdy sem p i el pozd do koly a musel za trest pachtl a edidlem krabat vejka ky z podlahy Tenhle francouzskej V clav up r Krej , co asto strkal vidli ku do z suvky, vyr stal za v lky ve Francii Rodi e byli z Polska a ta ka to nedal na front a mamka bohu el t pic a nehledej m v c nep e ila Auschwi [...]

    18. James on said:

      A strange book In fact one of those books which is so strange that you long to sit down with the author to understand exactly what was going through his mind when he decided to pair a story of his childhood with a gruesome account of sports mad dystopia Was he highlighting the horror of Nazi ideology Underlining the unreliability of memories by contrasting his recollections with a completely absurd story It is a testament to Perec that whatever path of strangeness he decided to frolic down it ne [...]

    19. Karielle at Books à la Mode on said:

      This was the first novel we read for my French literature class Prior to this, we perused Roland Barthes, as well as the film La Jet e, which were both stunning Usually I m a fan of novels than I am of any other literary medium, but this one just didn t do it for me mainly because I ve yet to understand it in its full if it even is understandable, that is.Yep It s one of those.If I end up writing an analysis for this later or rather, if it s any good, considering we re all required to use this [...]

    20. Kris Kipling on said:

      As autobiographies go this cryptic novella must be among the most unusual ever penned Georges Perec s parents were killed in concentration camps when he was a boy The second chapter begins I have no childhood memories I was excused a different history, History with a capital H, had answered the questions in my stead the war, the camps.Perec was one of those experimental French novelists who thrived in the 1960s and is most famous for writing a novel entirely without the letter E Here he wrestles [...]

    21. M. D.Hudson on said:

      To quote from the jacket blurb W tells two parallel stories The first is autobiographical, describing the author s wartime boyhood The second tale, denser, disturbing, horrifying, is the allegorical story of W, a mythical island of Tierra Del Fuego governed by the thrall of the Olympic Ideal, where losers are tortured and winners held in temporary idolatry Everything but the plug is correct here the second allegorical tale is overly complicated, contrived and ultimately about as interesting as [...]

    22. Claudia Savage on said:

      Definitely one of the most devastating books about the Holocaust I ve ever read.It sneaks up on you, though, so give it a chance All the banality that you think is trivial leads to an ending that sucker punches you on the jaw Lights out.The idea that sport is king on an imaginary island seems odd, but harmless Then come the descriptions of gang rape, starvation, murder, and child abuse on a scale you just can t believe The fact that he mirrors this so delicately with memories of his own childhoo [...]

    23. Solange te parle on said:

      Ce n est pas le Perec que je pr f re Il m aura s rement manqu des bribes de la biographie de l auteur pour tout assimiler Dans le genre vagues souvenirs d une enfance meurtrie pendant la guerre, mon c ur appartient Modiano Reste que la description de la vie W la lettre tant employ e comme adjectif vous en bouche un coin.

    24. Eimhin on said:

      I read this when I was very young Don t really remember it 4 stars is a pure guess

    25. Andrew on said:

      Other than my boy forever Italo Calvino, I d never read any Oulipo writers before, and Perec was recommended to me Oh man, two dovetailing narratives forming a cohesive and moving meditation on fascism, I dig this shit super hard Combining a fabulist perspective, a pointillistic, convincing memoir, and an overarching structurality, this is pretty remarkable in a lot of ways.

    26. Baris Balcioglu on said:

      My note says I loved the book Then I must read it in the original.

    27. Julius Light on said:

      Reading about the Sport Life of a mythical place called W opened my eyes even further to the sheer horrors of the Holocaust Yeah, you people were following orders, but can any sane, rational human being force people only because they re of a particular ethnicity and culture to undergo such harsh treatment and oppression, and still call himself or herself a human being I get it, disobey orders and you probably die, but all the same It s terrible A proud father of two girls, who wakes up one morni [...]

    28. Libby on said:

      I always think of Perec as this super playful dude who was just crazy imaginative and clever with language and, yeah, this has all of that, but it s also horrible It s half about a childhood he can t remember with a father who died on the front and a mother who was killed in Auschwitz there s this horrible line, I am paraphrasing the French here, but his Polish mother returned to her childhood country to die and it s just awful and half about all the stuff he invented in his childhood to, I gues [...]

    29. Michael James on said:

      It s like 3 stories in 1 and that was confusing for a bit It begins quite suggestive when the main character meets a mysterious stranger and then follows by childhood memories of the main character But suddenly half of the book describes a fictional island called W while the strange meeting comes to an end and we from time to time return to the childhood memories It felt like it was too much focus on creating a mythical and epic place but there s a huge and tragic metaphorical twist in the end t [...]

    30. Hilal Kalkavan on said:

      The crushing intensity the war has on history erases any individual impact that s why Perec feels he doesn t have a childhood nor a personal history granted, he does have a collection of memories of those years, but he can t seem to string them together and make a meaning out of them the loss of his parents and growing up in various facilities didn t help as well but that doesn t make him immune to his surroundings and he develops this profound understanding of the war, the thing that replaced h [...]

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