Pigeon Reader cover

Pigeon Reader

Simon Morris

Inspired by Georges Perec’s musings on reading, which he likens to ‘a pigeon pecking at the ground in search of breadcrumbs’, Simon Morris’ latest book sets those feral avians to work on Perec’s text Reading: A Socio-physiological Outline.

In the process he puts pressure on all of the terms in Perec’s title: what does it mean to engage a text physically – looking at print, flipping pages, processing language, vocalising, responding – without any of the social practices or semantics we usually associate with ‘reading’.

Or, to put this as Wittgenstein might: what activities still embody a grammar of reading even in the absence of what would seem to be its defining features. Pigeon Reader intervenes as a precise facsimile edition of Perec’s book, Species of Spaces and Other Pieces, with only the chapter on reading modified.

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