An entire novel without the letter E?

Having nothing better to do on a lazy weekend sometime in 1969, the esteemed French novelist Georges Perec (1936-82) wrote an entire 300-page book without using the letter “e”. Why? you ask. Well presumably it’s one of those “Because it was there” things. Or, more precisely, wasn’t there.

Still, at a time when many other French intellectuals were at the barricades, young Georges was bending his formidable intellect to the project of avoiding Es. One can’t help but wonder what effect this project had on his subsequent output. Did Georges resist the popular vowel ever after?

This useful information, along with seven other little-known facts about vowels, is set out in Arika Okrent’s fascinating Mental Floss piece, 8 Things You Might Not Know About Vowels.


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