Georges Perec – On Knowing the World

What can we know of the world? What quantity of space can our eyes hope to take in between our birth and our death? How many square centimeters of planet earth will the soles of our shoes have touched?

Georges Perec in Species of Spaces and Other Pieces

 

Perec – On Writing

Can I measure some of the road I have travelled? Have I achieved some of the aims that I set myself, if I ever really did one day set myself aims ? Can I say today that I am what I wanted to be in the old days? I don’t ask myself whether the world in which I live answers my aspirations, for as soon as I’ve answered no, I shan’t have the impression of having progressed any further. But does the life I lead in it correspond to what I wanted, to what I expected?

– Georges Perec in Species of Space and Other Pieces, Edited and Translated with an Introduction by John Sturrock, Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics, Penguin Books, 1997.

 

Perec – On Writing

To begin with, it all seems simple: I wanted to write, and I’ve written. By dint of writing, I’ve become a writer, for myself alone first of all and for a long time, and today for others. In principle, I no longer have any need to justify myself (either in my own eyes or in the eyes of others).  I’m a writer, that’s an acknowledged fact , a datum, self-evident, a definition. I can write or not write, I can go for several weeks or several months without writing, or write ‘well’ or ‘badly’, that alters nothing, it doesn’t  make my activity as a writer into a parallel or complementary activity.  I do nothing else but write (except earn the time to write), I don’t know how to do anything else … I write in order to live and live in order to write …

– Georges Perec in Species of Space and Other Pieces, Edited and Translated with an Introduction by John Sturrock, Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics, Penguin Books, 1997.