Monica

Reading Perec

Georges Perec, a successful member of the Oulipo, penned several groundbreaking works including Life: A User’s Manual and A Void. A Void is impressive simply for the fact that Perec didn’t use the letter ‘e’, the most commonly used vowel in the French language. In honor of his efforts, the transaltors did the same –…

Why Don’t You Queneau?

After reading The Last Days by Raymond Queneau, I wonder why he isn’t more widely read. He is more well-known for his classic works, Exercises in Style and Zazie in the Metro, but The Last Days is an autobiographical novel that gives us a cynical and biting commentary about the transition from ‘there is so…

Ferrante’s Unnatural Mother

(Originally posted on Three Percent 7/1/2008) “I’m an unnatural mother.” The protagonist, Leda, says of herself. In this brave and searing novel by Elena Ferrante, The Lost Daughter explores the psyche of a woman who regrets having children. Leda is a modern Italian woman. She is divorced. She is an accomplished professor. And she is…