Georges Perec, La vie, mode d’emploi: roman [Life: A User’s Manual]

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The Novel(s)

La vie mode d’emploi (Life a User’s Manual, trans. David Bellos) is a 1978 novel, one of the best-known works by French author Georges Perec. The story tells of Englishman Percival Bartlebooth (a hybrid name that draws from Herman Melville’s Bartleby who famously preferred “not to”, and Valery Larbaud’s Barnabooth), an eccentric millionaire who devotes his life to an intricate but ultimately useless goal, meant to occupy the rest of his life and exhaust his entire fortune. He spends a decade learning the art of watercolors under the instruction of Valène, and then another 20 years traveling the world with his faithful servant Smautf, painting his own watercolor landscapes of ports. Upon completion, Bartlebooth has each painting cut into a puzzle by artisan Gaspard

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Citation: Berkman, Natalie. "La vie, mode d’emploi: roman". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 April 2015 [, accessed 20 April 2024.]

33165 La vie, mode d’emploi: roman 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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