An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in London
Published by Burning Eye Books
One weekend in the middle of October 1974 the French writer Georges Perec set himself a challenge – to describe everything that happened in place Saint-Sulpice, Paris. Not a record of the buildings or history of the square, but a record of ‘that which is not noticed, that which has no importance: what happens when nothing happens’.
40 years later writers Nathan Penlington and Sarah Lester replicated Perec’s experiment - with a few important similarities and a few significant changes, most notably relocating to a square in London, a small insignificant square in the North East borough of Hackney.
A major departure from the original protocol, this is more than the work of one writer but a collaboration between two observers with differing sensibilities and styles - the overlaps and deviations of the simultaneous accounts underlining the impossibility and futility of the task.