An unfinished and unpublished work by Georges Perec published in a book and on the internet, so that “the reader can go through it at will”

This unfinished literary project was born forty years after the death of its author, Georges Perec: “Places”, whose writing lasted twelve years. An exploration of twelve Parisian places where the reader can choose their reading path.

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Describe twelve Parisian places at the rate of two per month for twelve years: 288 texts at the end, half descriptions, half memoirs. Georges Perec then wanted to compile them into a book, explains Maurice Olender, the publisher of Facilities Editions du Seuil. “Each of these texts will be enclosed in an envelope sealed with wax. It started in January 1969. And he writes, it’s quite moving: ‘I would have finished in December 1980. Then I’ll open all 288 sealed envelopes.'” But the writer dies before completing his project.

Thirty years later, a team seizes the envelopes and dissects the texts written by Georges Perec, a member of Oulipo, “Workshop of Potential Literature”. His little cousin and beneficiary, Sylvia Richardson, joins in on the adventure. A question arises: “How would you have organized this set of content that is both autobiographical and descriptive of Paris and the way people live in Paris?”

Unfortunately, Georges Perec left no instructions. So the 612-page ledger chooses a double presentation. “There are two vectors, explains Maurice Olender. They are oriented in time because each one carries a precise date. And then, on each envelope, there is both a date and a place.” Publishers add an index, but other reading paths are made possible by a website. Facilities it is available there in its entirety. Sylvia Richardson supervised its development. “I absolutely wanted the reader to be able to imagine other possible options, choices that Georges could have made.

Therefore, this free site offers a different way to discover Georges Perec’s posthumous book. It is also a way to attract new readers.

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