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Life A Users Manual

Life A Users Manual
« on: August 20, 2012, 11:37:09 am »

Hi there,

Currently I am reading Georges Perec's "Life A Users Manual". This could be interesting for notgames, since I would call it a notbook.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_A_User%27s_Manual

The description of a Parisian apartment block as it could be seen if the entire facade were removed, exposing every room. Perec was obsessed with lists: such a description would be exhaustive down to the last detail. It reads like a regular book, but the structure behind the book is almost mechanical or procedural. (***)

There is nothing new under the sun. Maybe I had it back in my mind, but: Each room is assigned to a chapter, and the order of the chapters is given by the knight's moves on the grid -> a so called Knight's Tour (compare to my Knight's Move idea)

He created a complex system which would generate for each chapter a list of items, references or objects which that chapter should then contain or allude to. He described this system as a "machine for inspiring stories". (***)

He was - no, more accurate - he is still a member of the Oulipo group of literates. Ouvroir de littérature potentielle. Oulipo members are still considered members after their deaths...

It is a melancholic book.

A lot of this book reminds me of Greenaways work. I think they share the same pool of ideas... Perec was a precursor to Greenaway, though.

*** I used excerpts from WikiPedia ...

p.s. I bet, if Perec would be alive today, he would be experimenting with interactive software, notgames etc. Died 1982.
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