This is a place rediscovered 40 years after it had been first written about. It had appeared in a text by French Oulipo writer Georges Perec. And the author speaks of writing from being seated on a bench. And so voila, since October 2014 this bench (pictured) shall be known as the one where the author sat and made his observations. Welcome to the spot called Perec’s Bench.
So on the approaching months of the text’s 40th anniversary in 2014 I revisited Place Saint Sulpice in the heart of Paris’ 6th neighbourhood. I was there to render homage to author Perec and see the place which he wrote about in the short experimental-observational text. The viewpoint from Perec’s Bench allows for quiet contemplation. There’s also the majestic sound of the roaring sheets of water which tumble over the fountain’s stonework structure. Which too brings to life the stone-cold carvings of sedated lying lions.
An English translation of the little-known French text is ‘An Attempt At Exhausting a Place In Paris’. It took place over an October weekend in 1974. I got to re-reading the text, and went there myself on an October weekend in 2014. So 40 years later, playing a visit to Perec’s Bench can get you closer to the illuminating mind of this writer. Or it’s just simply a stopping-off point where you can take in an eventful day of people watching. Priceless.
Perec’s Bench | Art & culture, Relaxing
Perec’s Bench, Place Saint Sulpice
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