Memory Life Manual Index

Memory Life Manual Index


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Colophon: "Life: A User's Manual, by Georges Perec + drawings based on objects from the novel + lists of memories and former homes + lists of objects on kitchen tables + drawings based on lists + wood 'type' blocks of the generated text and images x a gridded press bed x improvisational composition x 2015 - 2021 / numerous interruptions."

Wikipedia (1/10/2023): "Life: A User's Manual (the original title is ‘La Vie mode d'emploi’) is Georges Perec's most famous novel, published in 1978 ... ‘ La Vie mode d'emploi’ is a tapestry of interwoven stories and ideas as well as literary and historical allusions, based on the lives of the inhabitants of a fictitious Parisian apartment block ... It was written according to a complex plan of writing constraints, and is primarily constructed from several elements, each adding a layer of complexity. ... The content of Perec's novel was partly generated by 42 lists, each containing 10 elements (e.g. the ‘Fabrics’ list contains ten different fabrics). Perec used Graeco-Latin squares or ‘bi-squares’ to distribute these elements across the 99 chapters of the book. A bi-square is similar to a sudoku puzzle, though more complicated, as two lists of elements must be distributed across the grid."

In "Memory Life Manual Index," the creators use Perec's approach as a basis for their lists of memories and life events. These lists are in the form of one inch square blocks with words or color or image printed, it seems, randomly across each page. The result is at once stimulating and puzzling, frustrating and revealing.


Small Craft Advisory Press


ekphrasis, memory, visual art


10 x 14.25"; 104 pages plus free end pages.






French fold pages. Illustrated pastedowns and free end pages. Colophon printed on back pastedown. Numbered. Bound in cloth with paper design and title on front board.



Other Information

Edition 21 of 24. For more information, visit

Memory Life Manual Index