The eye follows the paths that have been laid down for it in the work
June 22, 2013 4:34 PM   Subscribe

From this, one can make a deduction which is quite certainly the ultimate truth of jigsaw puzzles: despite appearances, puzzling is not a solitary game: every move the puzzler makes, the puzzle-maker has made before; every piece the puzzler picks up, and picks again, and studies and strokes, every combination he tries, and tries a second time, every blunder and every insight, each hope and each discouragement have all been designed, calculated, and decided by the other.

Life A User's Manual: wikipedia

Georges Perec: wikipedia, previously

The Oulipo: wikipedia, previously

David Bellos (English Translator of Life A User's Manual) : wikipedia
posted by juv3nal (6 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
The book, incidentally, is set on the 23rd of June. Which you might say, it isn't right now, but in Paris, it is.
posted by juv3nal at 4:35 PM on June 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I treasure a pin given to me (and all other employees) at work. It's shaped like a standard jigsaw puzzle piece. The card it came pinned to said "YOU are an indispensible piece of the puzzle."

Every one is exactly the same shape as every other one and no two of them can be made to fit together. They'll pry it from my cold dead fingers.
posted by jfuller at 5:00 PM on June 22, 2013 [9 favorites]


jfuller: "I treasure a pin given to me (and all other employees) at work. It's shaped like a standard jigsaw puzzle piece. The card it came pinned to said "YOU are an indispensible piece of the puzzle.""


WITHOUT ME THE PUZZLE IS INCOMPLETE
posted by subbes at 5:59 PM on June 22, 2013


I am not at all confident that the assertions in the quoted bit are true, because of the way jigsaw puzzles are made. They're stamped out using steel-rule dies. Once the die is made, it can produce any number of different puzzles, so long as the overall size is constant. I doubt that either the puzzle designer or the die designer have any reason to sit down and assemble the puzzle, other than for amusement.

I'm talking about mass-market cardboard puzzles. Custom wooden ones are another story, and are made differently.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:14 AM on June 23, 2013


Kirth, Perec talks about die-cut puzzles about two paragraphs prior to the pull-quote.

I really recommend reading the book; it's fantastic.
posted by phooky at 8:46 AM on June 23, 2013


Kirth, Perec talks about die-cut puzzles about two paragraphs prior to the pull-quote.

The full text of the preamble (which I had considered using in its entirety for this post before realize I didn't have enough good links to justify it).
posted by juv3nal at 12:17 AM on June 24, 2013


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