Our fifth ‘A to Z’ post is in honour of a particular author (Gallic in origin), Georges Perec. I wish to toast him for his work in writing a lipogrammatic book (La Disparition) without using a symbol found – gill by jowl – following D and just in front of F.

This sign is, you may think, not a thing to cast off willy-nilly, and this notion is right. But, having had a go at writing in this way on a prior occasion, it was an obvious thing to do for this 6th April production.

My UK adaptation, A Void, is by Gil Adair, who won an award for his work. Sorry, Mr Adair, for this truncation – ‘Gil’, I ask you – of an important word by which a human might know you; a slight is not my aim. In fact, I am happy to say, our son is also a ‘Gil’. Not in your honour, though, so actually that might form a slight… Sorry again!

From first sight, A Void was as no book that I had had my hands on. Days going through it simply chuckling, scratching my scalp at its baffling twists and turns, by variant turns sad (it is full of loss, obviously and not so obviously), and mostly simply admiring both author and translator’s linguistic skills.

It has that (this!) kind of impact. Look at this famous authority that has public modifications and you will start giggling at how, paragraph by paragraph, it adopts ‘stylistic tricks’ studiously from our original.

I could lavish approval upon it all day. You should just find a copy.  Anton Vowl (missing), and an amazing world of unsaid things, awaits you.

Now, dig this:

Honk honk!

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