Mighty Red Pen

April 6, 2008

A void

Filed under: Lit review — mighty red pen @ 12:38 pm
Tags: , ,

The Tensor recently wrote about Georges Perec’s 1969 lipogrammatic novel, A Void. It’s not the easiest book to read, and it’s full of hilariously improbable plot twists (“OMG! You mean that all along you were the person I was searching for? Impossible!”).

Plus, this is Georges Perec. Check him out:

But I don’t know what’s cooler: that Perec wrote the original novel in French without using a single letter e, or that the English translation by Gilbert Adair preserves that. (Well, personally, I stopped keeping track around page 5.)

It’s a bit of a challenging read, plot-wise, but if might be worth your while if you really feel like getting your word nerd on.



  1. I wrote this sentence without using the letter x.

    Damn! Avoiding letters is hard.

    Comment by Frank Drone — April 7, 2008 @ 2:17 pm | Reply

  2. Frank, I count one letter “x” in your sentence–sorry to have to point it out, but you failed.

    However, I wrote this one without a letter em.

    Comment by TootsNYC — April 7, 2008 @ 5:41 pm | Reply

  3. oops, no I didn’t.

    I wrote this one without the letter that begins another word for chimpanzee marmoset simian lemur primate mandrill tamarin macaque gibbon orangutan ape

    oh, the heck with it!

    Comment by TootsNYC — April 7, 2008 @ 5:52 pm | Reply

  4. See? Not as easy at it looks! Now try doing it in French.

    Comment by mightyredpen — April 7, 2008 @ 7:05 pm | Reply

  5. (you did notice that gibbon, orangutan and ape don’t have m’s–but they’re not monkeys!

    It’s easier if you can make it up as you go along.

    Comment by TootsNYC — April 8, 2008 @ 11:19 am | Reply

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