Monday, December 17, 2007


Came across a review article on things by Jessica Helfand of Design Observer, taking in Perec, Dr Seuss, Buy Nothing Day, the Addams Family, Sherry Turkle's Evocative Objects, and other, ahem, things too numerous for a half-awake blogger to mention. Just in time for the Christmas season.

In George Perec's first novel Things, published in 1965, the protagonists are a pair of disillusioned dropouts who are quickly revived when they join the (then-newly minted) field of market research — a choice that ultimately traps them in a kind of closed loop of consumer greed. It's easy to perceive this story as a fictional depiction of bourgeois culture (the characters become puppets in a modern retelling of an ancient parable, proving that no good ever comes of wanting too much) when, in point of fact, Perec's narrative is stunningly, even disturbingly accurate as a modern-day portrayal of capitalist greed.

The rest here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Read your excerpt in n+1. How dare you take our arms and swing us to the heights of PKD and Italo Calvino, then splatter us unbidden into your semi-autobiographical mud! I'm 19 years old from Minnesota, and I'll have you know that If on a winter's night a traveler is...

...I'm not too good at this, am I. Well, I hope you get it published.