Cantatrix Sopranica L., Scientific Papers
Georges Perec (1936-1982) became the most celebrated French writer of his generation, his novel Life A User’s Manual winning the Prix Médicis in 1978. Perec from the start was fascinated by the possibility of employing non-fictional languages for altogether more mischievous purposes and this book collects together various texts in which he uses the expressionless terminology of sociology, entomology and linguistics to achieve effects they are distinctly designed to avoid.
Perec was of course also an illustrious member of the Oulipo, a group of writers which is still very much active, who explore the possibilities of employing artificial systems in literature. Perhaps the most famous work to emerge from their researches was La Disparition, again by Perec, a full-length novel which avoids the use of any words containing the letter e (it is translated as A Void).
Not surprisingly, the present book is “experimental”, but it is also strange, preposterous and wrily entertaining...