W, or the Memory of Childhood (Verba Mundi) (Verba Mundi (Paperback))

W, or the Memory of Childhood (Verba Mundi) (Verba Mundi (Paperback))

Georges Perec


From the writer of existence: A User's handbook (Godine, 1987) comes an both miraculous novel: W or The reminiscence of youth, a story that displays a superb writer's attempt to come back to phrases together with his early life and his half within the Nazi career of France.

Guaranteed to ship surprise waves during the literary neighborhood, Perec's W tells parallel tales. the 1st is autobiographical, describing the author's wartime boyhood. the second one story, denser, extra aggravating, extra scary, is the allegorical tale of W, a legendary island off Tierra del Fuego ruled via the thrall of the Olympic "ideal," the place losers are tortured and winners held in transitority idolatry.

As the reader quickly discovers, W is a spot the place "it is extra vital to be fortunate than to be deserving," and "you need to struggle to live...[with] no recourse, no mercy, no salvation, now not even any desire that point will fix things out." the following, recreation is glorified and victors commemorated, yet athletes are vilified, losers accomplished, rape universal, stealing inspired and violence a truth of life.

Perec's interpretive imaginative and prescient of the Holocaust forces us to invite the query vital to our time: How did this ensue prior to our eyes? How did we glance at these "shells of epidermis and bone, ashen confronted, with their backs completely bent, their eyes jam-packed with panic and their suppurating sores"? How did this take place, no longer on W, yet prior to thousands of spectators, a few horrified, a few cheering, a few detached, yet all current on the video games staring at the occasions of that grisly arena?

This e-book, a devastating indictment of passivity and the psychology of crowds, will locate its position beside such nice works as Milan Kundera's The booklet of Laughter and Forgetting and Primo Levi's The Periodic desk and If no longer Now, whilst?

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