chapter  16
17 Pages

Can metaranking express the misfortune of consumption? A discussion from the reading of Things by G. Perec: Claire Pignol


Introduction Things: A Story of the Sixties, the novel that Georges Perec published in 1965, will be read here as the narration of an experience of the desire for wealth and consumption, and it will be confronted with the microeconomic theory of consumer’s choice. Such a reading is not obvious since Perec is not a social scientist taking scrupulous note of the results of an experience, but a writer, as he emphasized himself:

I am not a sociologist. When I wrote Things, my plan wasn’t to describe the civilization of plenty. It was to describe the image I, myself, had of happiness, and of the contradiction it implies. I didn’t know that 250,000 French would immediately lay hands on it. I didn’t intend to deliver a truth; I simply intended to describe a stage of what I felt.1