the art and craft of approaching your head of department to submit a request for a raise, by Georges Perec, translated by David Bellos, Vintage, RRP£9.99, 84 pages
Around 1968, a French technology firm challenged artists to create as a computer thinks. The result was this satire on office life and ageing by the ever-experimental Georges Perec.
Written in lower-case letters, the art and craft … mimics a flowchart – if this, then that – the joke, of course, being that unforeseen events (such as measles or food poisoning) eternally disrupt the title’s “logical” process.
This first English edition is odd, sometimes affecting, and almost entirely devoid of punctuation.