In An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris, originally published in France (Tentative d'épuisement d'un lieu parisien) in 1975, Georges Perec notates the comings and goings from a couple of cafes, a bar tabac and a bench in Place Saint-Sulpice over three days in October 1974.

Georges Perec reading the accompanying book as he listens to Richard Wagner's 'Ring Cycle' in 1972 (photo by Christine Lipinska).

Here is a short extract from the book-

Small poodle-type dog.

A sort of double of Peter Sellers, with a very pleased expression on his face, walks by the cafe. Then a woman with two very young children. Then a group of 14 women coming from the rue des Canettes.

I have the impression that the square is almost empty (but there are at least twenty human beings in my line of sight).

A postal van.

A child with a dog

A man with a large "A" on his sweater

A "Que sais-je?" truck: "La collection 'Que sais-je' a réponse à tout [The 'Que sais-je' collection has an answer for everything]"

A spaniel?

A 70

A 96

Funeral wreaths are being brought out of the church.

It is two thirty

A 63, an 87, an 86, another 86, and a 96 go by.

         Georges Perec in 1976

On her blog When Is A City, Christina Juhlin selects some quotes from Georges Perec on writing urban and ordinary life here.

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