The Book & the Movie: A Man Asleep / Georges Perec, 1967 | Un homme qui dort / The Man Who Sleeps / Bernard Queysanne, 1974

“It is a life without surprises. You sleep, you walk, you continue to live. 
Like a laboratory rat abandoned in its maze by some absent-minded scientist.”
"You won’t listen to any more sound advice. You won’t ask for any remedies. You will go your own way, 
you will look to the trees, the water, the stones, the sky, your face, the clouds, the ceiling, the void."

“As the hours, the days, the weeks, the seasons slip by, you detach yourself from everything. You discover, with something that sometimes almost resembles exhilaration, that you are free. That nothing is weighing you down, nothing pleases or displeases you. You find, in this life exempt from wear and tear and with no thrill in it other than these suspended moments, in almost perfect happiness, fascinating, occasionally swollen by new emotions. You are living in a blessed parenthesis, in a vacuum full of promise, and from which you expect nothing. You are invisible, limpid, transparent. You no longer exist. Across the passing hours, the succession of days, the procession of the seasons, the flow of time, you survive without joy and without sadness. Without a future and without a past. Just like that: simply, self evidently, like a drop of water forming on a drinking tap on a landing.”
Georges Perec, A Man Asleep, 1967

"Now you have run out of hiding places. You are afraid. You are waiting for everything to stop, the rain, the hours, the stream of traffic, life, people, the world; waiting for everything to collapse, walls, towers, floors and ceilings, men and women, old people and children, dogs, horses, birds, to fall to the ground, paralysed, plague-ridden, epileptic; waiting for the marble to crumble away, for the wood to turn to pulp, for the houses to collapse noiselessly, for the diluvian rains to dissolve the paintwork, pull apart the joints in hundred-year-old wardrobes, tear the fabric to shreds, wash away the newspaper ink, waiting for the fire without flames to consume the stairs, waiting for the streets to subside and split down the middle to reveal the gaping labyrinth of the sewers; waiting for the dust and mist to invade the city."

Georges Perec, A Man Asleep, 1967

"You go back to your room, you undress, you slip between the sheets, you turn out the light, you close your eyes. Now is the time when dream-women, too quickly undressed, crowd in around you, the time when you reread ad nauseam books you’ve read a hundred times before, when you toss and turn for hours without getting to sleep. This is the hour when, your eyes wide open in the darkness, your hand groping towards the foot of the narrow bed in search of an ashtray, matches, a last cigarette, you calmly measure the sticky extent of your unhappiness."

Georges Perec, A Man Asleep, 1967

'You have hardly started living, and yet all is said, all is done. You are only twenty-five, but your path is already mapped out for you. The roles are prepared, and the labels: from the potty of your infancy to the bath-chair of your old age, all the seats are ready and waiting their turn. Your adventures have been so thoroughly described that the most violent revolt would not make anyone turn a hair. Step into the street and knock people’s hat off, smear your head with filth, go bare-foot, publish manifestos, shoot at some passing usurper or other, but it won’t make any difference: in the dormitory of the asylum your bed is already made up, your place is already laid at the table of the poète maudit; Rimbaud’s drunken boat, what a paltry wonder: Abyssinia is a fairground attraction, a package trip. Everything is arranged, everything is prepared in the minutest detail: the surges of emotion, the frosty irony, the heartbreak, the fullness, the exoticism, the great adventure, the despair. You won’t sell your soul to the devil, you won’t go clad in sandals to throw yourself into the crater of Mount Etna, you won’t destroy the seventh wonder of the world. Everything is ready for your death: the bullet that will end your days was cast long ago, the weeping women who will follow your casket have already been appointed.'

Georges Perec, A Man Asleep, 1967

"It is on a day like this one, a little later, a little earlier, that you discover, without surprise, that something is wrong, that you don't know how to live and that you never will. Something has broken. You no longer feel some thing which until then fortified you. The feeling of your existence, the impression of belonging to or being in the world, is starting to slip away from you. Your past, your present and your future merge into one. You are 25 years old, you have 29 teeth, three shirts and eight socks, 500 francs a month to live on, a few books you no longer read, a few records you no longer play. You don't want to remember anything else. Here you sit, and you only want to wait, just to wait until there's nothing left to wait."

Georges Perec, A Man Asleep, 1967

Georges Perec, Jacques Spiesser and Bernard Queysanne on the set of Un homme qui dort. 

The Man Who Sleeps ( Un homme qui dort) 1974 French drama 
Directed by Bernard Queysanne and Georges Perec
Based on Perec's 1967 novel A Man Asleep

It uses a second-person narrative. The story deals with a young student (Jacques Speisser) and his alienation 
as he wanders the streets of Paris. His inner musings are narrated in the form of an unwritten diary by 
Ludmila Mikael. The protagonist remains silent throughout the film. The film won the Prix Jean Vigo in 1974.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We are asleep. Our Life is a dream.
But we wake up sometimes,
just enough to know that we are dreaming.

Ludwig Wittgenstein


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