Georges Perec's novel written entirely without the letter e.

Not only is it a fully-realized murder mystery.
Not only does it incorperate Poe's The Raven, re-worked and re-worded as Black Bird to remove those pesky e's while retaining all of the form and meaning.
Not only is the same treatment given to To Be Or Not To Be (Living Or Not Living) and Ozymandias and an Arthur Rimbaud poem

But it is also originally written in French - without a single e - and has been translated by Gilbert Adair into English. Without a single e.

I contemplated writing this node without using any e. For about two seconds.

A tiny supplement to arrowfall's writeup on Georges Perec's novel A Void.

  • In French it is called La Disparition
  • The main character is Anton Vowl (geddit!).
  • After writing this novel, which is totally bereft of the letter 'e', his next work was Les Revenentes in which the only vowel used is 'e'. Georges you are so droll!
This book's original author is an OuLiPo luminary, part of that group who try to find amusing juxtapositions in scribal oddity, combinatorial profusion, or arcana holding back ways of putting fictional works into a unity from multitudinous parts.

With La Disparition, or in Mr Adair's happy anglicisation A Void, nothing dubious irks us about that important lipogrammatic plank of his task, for it's London to a brick that if you work at it hard you can continually churn out such word-play, admitting only a nagging conscious worry that our first draft is stylistically odd. To talk frankly, our linguistic job isn't as jolly baffling as it might first look. Important though a particular sign of our script is, occurring in many a foundational word of grammar, it's not in truth such a stumbling block to knowability if you find it missing.

Significantly up in that stratum of how it can hit us on glancing through it is an atavistic thirst for a plot that hangs as a unity, and I'm afraid much though I found A Void (I only know it in Adair's translation: would this bias my approach? Hard to say) an amusing occupation for calm hours and odd bits of your day, watching how that poor brain-racking author might squirm to latch onto a smooth circumlocution lacking that magic sound; for all that, its plot is clunky, its population of imaginary folk do not lift my spirits with anticipation of what will occur upon our forthcoming conjunction in this story. I'm sorry, but it just don't work out right, guv!

A final conclusion:

Let me be free, these Perec texts seem sweet, even when they never get better, never even deeper. He keeps me replete, he lets me see the clever wheels he breeds. We enter, seek the depth, pester the text... mleh.

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