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Pretzel

Mark Ford, 2 February 1989

W or the Memory of Childhood 
by Georges Perec, translated by David Bellos.
Collins Harvill, 176 pp., £10.95, October 1988, 0 00 271116 8
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Life: A User’s Manual 
by Georges Perec, translated by David Bellos.
Collins Harvill, 581 pp., £4.95, October 1988, 0 00 271999 1
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... constraints. OuLiPo (Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle) was a literary association founded by Raymond Queneau and François Le Lionnais in 1960 and dedicated to the search for new forms of writing, mainly through the application of mathematical structures, gratuitous forms of word play, and bizarre constrictions on content. The Oulipian text aims for a ...

Red makes wrong

Mark Ford: Harry Mathews, 20 March 2003

The Human Country: New and Collected Stories 
by Harry Mathews.
Dalkey Archive, 186 pp., £10.99, October 2002, 1 56478 321 9
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The Case of the Persevering Maltese: Collected Essays 
by Harry Mathews.
Dalkey Archive, 290 pp., £10.99, April 2003, 1 56478 288 3
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... The OuLiPo, or Ouvroir de littérature potentielle, was founded in 1960 by Raymond Queneau and François Le Lionnais. The group’s initiatory text was a sequence of ten sonnets written by Queneau entitled Cent mille milliards de poèmes: these sonnets all use the same rhymes, and are grammatically constructed so that any line in any sonnet can be replaced by the corresponding line in any of the other nine sonnets ...
The Paradoxes of Delusion: Wittgenstein, Schreber, and the Schizophrenic Mind 
by Louis Sass.
Cornell, 177 pp., £23.50, June 1995, 0 8014 9899 6
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Madness and Modernism: Insanity in the Light of Modern Art, Literature and Thought 
by Louis Sass.
Basic Books, 593 pp., £18.99, November 1993, 0 465 04312 7
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... Besides Nietzsche, Kafka and Wittgenstein, Sass includes, among others, Baudelaire, Van Gogh, Raymond Roussel, Jean-Pierre Brissct, Gérard de Nerval, Alfred Jarry, Strindberg, de Chirico, Dali and Beckett. Some aspects of late 20th-century life in the developed world– the distancing effect of technology and bureaucracy on our apprehension of ...

Itemised

Fredric Jameson, 8 November 2018

My Struggle: Book 6. The End 
by Karl Ove Knausgaard, translated by Martin Aitken and Don Bartlett.
Harvill Secker, 1153 pp., £25, August 2018, 978 1 84655 829 0
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... inevitable projection backwards onto the youth of what we know about the man. (Recall the story by Raymond Roussel of his discovery, in a dusty provincial museum, under glass, of the skull of Voltaire as a child.) For Kershaw, who knows the outcome, everything the young Hitler does is tainted in advance: not an act, not a feeling or an interest, a ...

Report from Sirius B

Jeremy Harding: ‘Phantom Africa’, 22 March 2018

Phantom Africa 
by Michel Leiris, translated by Brent Hayes Edwards.
Seagull, 711 pp., £42, January 2017, 978 0 85742 377 1
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... vanguard of white men, approved by a vote in the French parliament and funded by subscription: Raymond Roussel, the wealthy author of Impressions d’Afrique (1909), was one of the donors. The ‘Mission Dakar-Djibouti’ was arduous. It took longer than Cook’s first journey from England to Australia two centuries earlier. Leiris was 29 when he was ...

The Politics of Translation

Marina Warner: Translate this!, 11 October 2018

This Little Art 
by Kate Briggs.
Fitzcarraldo, 365 pp., £12.99, September 2017, 978 1 910695 45 6
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Translation as Transhumance 
by Mireille Gansel, translated by Ros Schwartz.
Les Fugitives, 150 pp., £10, November 2017, 978 0 9930093 3 4
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Sympathy for the Traitor: A Translation Manifesto 
by Mark Polizzotti.
MIT, 168 pp., £17.99, May 2018, 978 0 262 03799 0
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The 100 Best Novels in Translation 
by Boyd Tonkin.
Galileo, 304 pp., £14.99, June 2018, 978 1 903385 67 8
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The Work of Literary Translation 
by Clive Scott.
Cambridge, 285 pp., £75, June 2018, 978 1 108 42682 4
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... the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York) as well as a long-serving translator who has rendered Raymond Roussel, Patrick Modiano, Marguerite Duras and many others. ‘A good translation,’ he writes, ‘offers not a reproduction of the work but an interpretation, a re-representation, just as the performance of a play or a sonata is a representation of ...

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