Word games

For a creative writing exercise in lockdown, revisit George Perec

Those who have been on creative writing courses may be familiar with the ‘I remember’ exercise. The two words become a prompt for whatever you recall, and can lead to a fruitful ramble into senses and impressions worth plundering later. It could be useful during a lockdown (‘I remember the water cooler/my girlfriend coming round/trains’) and at any time can evoke feelings of nostalgia. The painter and poet Joe Brainard created the form, and his sequences of recollections snowballed into I Remember (1975), a sensual memoir of his childhood in Oklahoma (‘I remember my first erection’). The wonderful Georges Perec heard about it from a friend. He didn’t read Brainard,