By Georges Perec
From the writer of lifestyles: A User's handbook (Godine, 1987) comes an both fabulous novel: W or The reminiscence of youth, a story that displays an exceptional writer's attempt to return to phrases along with his adolescence and his half within the Nazi career of France.
Guaranteed to ship surprise waves throughout the literary group, Perec's W tells parallel tales. the 1st is autobiographical, describing the author's wartime boyhood. the second one story, denser, extra stressful, extra frightening, is the allegorical tale of W, a legendary island off Tierra del Fuego ruled through 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." right here, game is glorified and victors commemorated, yet athletes are vilified, losers finished, 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 imperative to our time: How did this take place earlier than our eyes? How did we glance at these "shells of pores and skin and bone, ashen confronted, with their backs completely bent, their eyes filled with panic and their suppurating sores"? How did this occur, now not on W, yet ahead of 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 publication, a devastating indictment of passivity and the psychology of crowds, will locate its position beside such nice works as Milan Kundera's The ebook of Laughter and Forgetting and Primo Levi's The Periodic desk and If now not Now, while?