Portrait of a Man (Le Condottière)

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Portrait of a Man (Le Condottière) Portrait of a Man (Le Condottière)

by Georges Perec

Genre: Literature

Published: 2012

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Gaspard Winckler, master forger, is trapped in a basement studio on the outskirts of Paris, with his paymaster's blood on his hands. The motive for this murder? A perversion of artistic ambition. After a lifetime lived in the shadows, he has strayed too close to the sun. Fittingly for such an enigmatic writer, Portrait of a Man is both Perec's first novel and his last. Written in the late 1950s, it was rejected by all publishers, and buried in a drawer. Perec himself told a friend 'it will either become a masterwork or will wait in my grave for a faithful exegete to find it in an old trunk...' An apt coda to one of the brightest literary careers of the twentieth century, it is - in the words of David Bellos, the 'faithful exegete' who brought it to light - 'connected by a hundred threads to every part of the literary universe that Perec went on to create - but it's not like anything else that he wrote.

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