Anakana Schofield – Author of Bina, Martin John and Malarky

Exhaustion chez Georges

At the risk of exhausting an object: I am intrigued as to the purpose of these many stainless steel bowls on the mantlepiece behind Monsieur Perec’s head during this interview. 


The indoor lamp post, je comprends.



Georges Perec’s Work-table

Last night I was reading (slowly) Georges Perec’s Notes Concerning the Objects that are on my Work-table. Even though the objects that Perec reports on are static, I was most struck by the movement in his piece.

When I arrived at this paragraph it was like putting my thumb beneath a granite paperweight.  It sat like a big stone, the paragraph, and I could not argue with it.

“Thus a certain history of my tastes (their permanence, their evolution, their phases) will come to be inscribed in this project. More precisely, it will be, once again, a way of marking out my space, a somewhat oblique approach to my daily practice, a way of talking about my work, about my history and my preoccupations, an attempt to grasp something pertaining to my experience, not at the level of its remote reflections, but at the very point where it emerges.”

(Species of Spaces and Other Pieces Georges Perec translated by John Sturrock Penguin Books.)

My favourite line so far in this magnificent piece: An Attempt At Exhausting A Place (Georges Perec) is the description of a man wearing a coat as long as he is. I cannot this second locate the exact line, which is as it should be. I should have to hunt, I should have to attempt to exhaust this book to rediscover it.

I also treasured the mention of a few people walking and reading, not many but a few (not a direct quote, rather a rustling, vague hustle from memory.

Where has this book been? Why haven’t we met before? Words must be exchanged on this. Georges vraiment!

I was reading it while waiting in a long queue at the supermarket. Behind me a couple exchanged in Spanish, finally he scooped up Family Circle and asked her if she wanted a copy. Non, non, she replied. The cashier’s nail polish was an unusual grey, the colour closely matched the shade of the cover of Perec’s novel. (Wakefield Press. Translated by Marc Lowenthal).