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Drop this book while you can

Marcel Bénabou - Translation by Laura Brignoli
Title book

Year 2015

Drop this book while you can

Contrary to your expectations, reader, it is not by hastily scrolling through these few lines that you will discover what is plotted in this book. If you really want to be informed, it will take a little more effort. But perhaps disappointment will push you not to even begin reading the work. And yet would you dare, without remorse, and simply in a bad mood, go that far? Know that, in this case, you would be a lot more arcane than the protagonist of the book himself. He at least suspended the reading only after he got to know the first page. So, in the end, would it not be wiser for you to behave just as prudently? Marcel Bénabou seems to have placed his life under the sign of multiplicity. Or at least dualism. His personal itinerary led him from Morocco, where he was born in 1939, to Paris, where he has lived since 1956; from Roman history, which he studied with erudite attention, to French literature, which he practices with the passion of an amateur; from the University, where he was professor for thirty years, to OULIPO, the Opificio di Letteratura Potenziale, of which he has been secretary since 1969 and where he was able to explore, together with his friends Georges Perec, Jacques Roubaud and Italo Calvino, the vast field of literary potential. Despite this, his literary works revolve around a single obsession: books. And first of all, the difficulty of writing: this is the paradoxical theme of Pourquoi je n'ai écrit aucun de mes livres (Why I have not written any of my books) - which, in 1986, won the Humoir Noir award - as well as Jacob, Ménahem et Mimoun, Une Epopée familiale (1995) or Ecrire sur Tamara (2002). But also of the difficulty of reading, as in the case of Jette ce livre avant qu'il soit trop tard (1992), Throw this book while you can, and of several stories, gathered in the Appentis revisité (2003).