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What Forms Can DoThe Work of Form in 20th- and 21st- Century French Literature and Thought$
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Patrick Crowley and Shirley Jordan

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789620658

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789620658.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

Vertical Travel, Listing and the Enumeration of the Everyday

Vertical Travel, Listing and the Enumeration of the Everyday

(p.131) Chapter Eight Vertical Travel, Listing and the Enumeration of the Everyday
What Forms Can Do

Charles Forsdick

Liverpool University Press

 Drawing on the work of Georges Perec, and focusing on other authors such as Julio Cortazar and François Maspero, the chapter begins with an analysis of the phenomenon of vertical travel. It explores the ways in which the disruption of the traditional (horizontal) axis of the journey provides access to often unseen aspects of the everyday. In discerning a poetics of such a practice, the chapter privileges processes of listing and enumeration. Perec's use of observational catalogues is seen in particular as a challenge to any understanding of the list as a ‘subsumptive’ form that identifies a thing by subordinating it under a particular category. Instead, he demonstrates how lists may articulate what is observed in very different ways: arranging, combining, and ordering words, observations and things sequentially not only subverts categorical hierarchies, but also has positively generative qualities in creating new epistemological orderings. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the power of the list to subvert established orders of knowledge and to suggest alternative means of making sense of the everyday.  

Keywords:   vertical travel, Georges Perec, Everyday, Lists, Enumeration, Catalogue

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