The Art and Craft of Approaching Your Head of Department to Submit a Request for a Raise
Perec's office novel takes fluorescent-lit anomie and shoots it through a complex if-then calculus, sending a hapless hero through a workplace maze where he must repeatedly avoid sour coworkers and steel his resolve to ask for more money.
Georges Perec, who died in 1982 at the age of forty-five, was far, far ahead of his time. One of the core members of Oulipo, the international group of writers who use mathematical constraints as jumping-off points for their fictions, Perec penned a mystery novel that avoids all words containing the letter e. (Just as spectacularly, this novel, La Disparition, was translated into English as A Void, following the same no-e constraint.) His novel Life: A User's Manual, which uses a chess game to structure its story about residents in a busy Parisian apartment building, also deserves its place in the modern pantheon.
Until now, Perec's short office novel The Art and Craft of Approaching Your Head of Department to Submit a Request for a Raise has not been translated into English. Perec biographer David Bellos has
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