La Boutique Obscure
La Boutique Obscure
Melville House Publishing, Paperback, 9781612191751, 262pp.
Publication Date: February 19, 2013
The beguiling, never-before-translated dream diary of Georges Perec
In La Boutique Obscure Perec once again revolutionized literary form, creating the world’s first “nocturnal autobiography.” From 1968 until 1972—the period when he wrote his most well-known works—the beloved French stylist recorded his dreams. But as you might expect, his approach was far from orthodox.
Avoiding the hazy psychoanalysis of most dream journals, he challenged himself to translate his visions and subconscious churnings directly into prose. In laying down the nonsensical leaps of the imagination, he finds new ways to express the texture and ambiguity of dreams—those qualities that prove so elusive.
Beyond capturing a universal experience for the first time and being a fine document of literary invention, La Boutique Obscure contains the seeds of some of Perec’s most famous books. It is also an intimate portrait of one of the great innovators of modern literature.
Davis Schneiderman is a multimedia artist and writer and the author or editor of ten print and audio works, including the novels Drain (TriQuarterly/Northwestern), Multifesto: A Henri d'Mescan Remix (Sputyen Duyvil), and the DEAD/BOOKS trilogy: BLANK, [SIC], and INK. (Jaded Ibis); and the co-edited collections Retaking the Universe: Williams S. Burroughs in the Age of Globalization (Pluto) and The Exquisite Corpse: Chance and Collaboration in Surrealism's Parlor Game (Nebraska). He blogs for The Huffington Post, and his work has appeared in numerous publications including Fiction International, The Chicago Tribune, The Iowa Review, TriQuarterly, and Exquisite Corpse. He is a professor Lake Forest College, Director of Lake Forest College Press/&NOW Books, and he edits The &NOW AWARDS: The Best Innovative Writing.
“If you let it, the bundled text of dreams provides insight into [Perec's] most influential work … Daniel Levin Becker rises and meets the challenge of honoring Perec’s intuition.”
—Library Journal (editor’s pick)
“La Boutique Obscure … is a work of considerable breadth and variety, and much of it is good fun, too. Any new bit of Pereciana is welcome, and fans will certainly appreciate and enjoy La Boutique Obscure.” —The Complete Review
”The book captivates…occasionally Perec’s dreaming mind alights on an image that condenses the pathos of an entire life.” —The Rumpus