Think/Classify (First published in Le Genre humain, 1982, and reprinted, in English, in Species of Spaces and Other Pieces, 1997)


by Georges Perec (1936 - 1982)

This darkly humorous, postmodern essay of fragments by a popular OuLiPo author (whose day-job was as an archivist) starts with a ‘Summary’ of its eclectic subsections that suffices as the only summary provided here: ‘Summary – Methods – Question – Vocabulary exercises – The world as puzzle – Utopias – Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea – Reason and thought – Eskimos – The Universal Exposition – The alphabet – Classifications – Hierarchies – How I classify – Borges and the Chinese – Sei Shonagon – The ineffable joys of enumeration – The Book of Records – Lowness and inferiority – The dictionary – Jean Tardieu – How I think – Some aphorisms – ‘In a network of intersecting lines’ – Miscellaneous – ?’

Related recommendation: Sei Shonagon’s Pillow Book (late 10th century)

Origin: France

Themes: Books, Bookshelves and Reading

Genres: Aphoristic, Spiritual or Philosophical Meditation

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