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An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris Paperback – September 30, 2010


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My Struggle: Book Four
Eighteen-year-old Karl Ove moves to a tiny fishing village in the Arctic Circle to work as a school teacher. As the nights get longer, the shadow cast by his father's own sharply increasing alcohol consumption, also gets longer. Read the full description
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An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris + Species of Spaces and Other Pieces (Penguin Classics) + Life: A User's Manual
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Wakefield Press; Reprint edition (September 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984115528
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984115525
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 4.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #254,563 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Long neglected by English-speaking scholars and Perec devotees for the author's other, more flamboyant endeavors, An Attempt... has remained a kind of secret treasure for those interested in Oulipo- and Situationist-inspired tracts of Paris. Marvelously simple and deceptively well-designed, Perec's slim volume presents itself as an artifact of the street, ushering the reader into a spontaneous phenomenology of words, conventional symbols, numbers, fleeting slogans, trajectories, colors, and, as he more technically describes them, means of locomotion, means of carrying, means of traction, degrees of determination or motivation, and body positions. --Erik Morse, bookforum.com, Sept. 24, 2010

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan on April 29, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like Queneau's masterpiece, this tiny gem is an exercise. It does offer diminishing returns, but I highly recommend it, especially for teachers of creative writing or devising performance. It shows the limits and richness of a serious constraint in a far more economical form than "La Disparition."
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Caroline Lim on April 29, 2012
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Pick a comfortable cafe or park bench, take out a notebook and sit for a few hours. How much activity would you be able to observe in the time you're sitting there? How much do we miss because we aren't mindful of the activity that takes place throughout the day? From fluttering pigeons, to how often the number 96 bus passes, to when children run down the sidewalk or a man walks his dog?

This short journal gives us a glimpse of how much life takes place through various periods in a day over 3 days.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kellie Gaddis on January 27, 2013
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The book itself was shabbily constructed. The first day I tried to read it, it literally fell apart. I needed the book for a class and would have returned it if I'd had the time. The content of the book was at first glance a detail of the mundane, at second glance a great accomplishment.
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