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The Afterlives of Georges Perec$
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Rowan Wilken and Justin Clemens

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474401241

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474401241.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 27 October 2020

‘An Attempt at Exhausting an Augmented Place in Paris’: Georges Perec, Observer-Writer of Urban Life, as a Mobile Locative Media User

‘An Attempt at Exhausting an Augmented Place in Paris’: Georges Perec, Observer-Writer of Urban Life, as a Mobile Locative Media User

Chapter:
(p.205) Chapter 12 ‘An Attempt at Exhausting an Augmented Place in Paris’: Georges Perec, Observer-Writer of Urban Life, as a Mobile Locative Media User
Source:
The Afterlives of Georges Perec
Author(s):

Christian Licoppe

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474401241.003.0012

This chapter describes a thought experiment in which a modern-day Georges Perec, equipped with a smartphone and actively committed to the use of mobile locative media such as Foursquare, would make an Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris today. The chapter argues that the initial project epitomized the way the neutral gaze of the onlooker is constitutive of urban public place and the way in which behavior in urban public places could thereby be described and accountable in generic terms intelligible to readers, themselves framed as strangers (in the sense of strangers in public places). This analysis is used as a baseline to show how a fictive, connected Perec would have to cope with the dual accessibility of places and people, both in the physical world and on screen, and especially the ‘parochialisation’ of place and individualization of digital personae online, in a way which would radically transform the initial literary project. This shows how the city augmented with mobile locative media might not be available to description in the same terms as the 20th century metropolis, and how a square in the augmented city might not be a public place in the same sense.

Keywords:   Georges Perec, urban public places, Foursquare, Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris, locative media

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