Georges Perec’s Life – A User’s Manual was famously based on a number of meticulously crafted lists, including a list of errors that should be made in the writing of each chapter. The engagement with imperfection in Perec’s novel is almost emblematic for the way it balances structure and composition with random and exchangeable elements. In this presentation, I will move from Perec’s work to a wider discussion of the values of imperfection in two distinct domains: the idea of the classic and the vision of the posthuman.
Mads Rosendahl Thomsen is Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Aarhus, Denmark. He is the author of Mapping World Literature: International Canonization and Transnational Literatures (Continuum, 2008), The New Human in Literature: Posthuman Visions of Changes in Body, Mind, and Society after 1900(Bloomsbury, 2013) and, most recently with Stefan Helgesson, Literature and the World (Routledge, 2019, in press), as well as several edited and co-edited books in English and Danish, notably Danish Literature as World Literature (with Dan Ringgaard, Bloomsbury, 2017) and World Literature: A Reader (with Theo D’haen and César Dominguez, Routledge, 2012). At Aarhus he directs the Digital Arts Initiative and the Human Futures research programmes.