53 DAYS



Brisbane killed Georges Perec,
Brisbane, St Lucia and
Joh Bjelke-Petersen
killed OUILIPO’s star.
Perec, who looked very much
like a marsupial
touched down at Eagle Farm
in late August 1981
to be writer-in-residence
in the French Department
at the University of Queensland
for 53 days.
Stendhal took 53 days to dictate
The Charterhouse of Parma in 1839
and Georges Perec decided
he was going to
also write a novel in 53 days,
precociously called 53 Days,
a detective novel like a Chinese puzzle
but he never finished it
because Australia killed him.
“C’est l’Australie qui m’a foutu mal!” he said
shortly before he died in Paris.
Some say it was the cigarettes,
but I know it was Queensland
that gave him cancer.

C’est l’Australie qui m’a foutu mal!

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