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Bellos mss., 1985-2005

Papers, 1985-2005, of David Bellos at the Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

Electronic finding aid encoded by Donal C. Force.

Summary Information

Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)
Indiana University
1200 E. Seventh St.
Bloomington, IN 47405-5500
Phone: 812-855-2452
Fax: 812-855-3143

Bellos, David

Bellos mss.,1985-2005

Collection No.
LMC 2533

5500 items

Materials are in English and French.

Consists of correspondence, notes, manuscript drafts, research files and clippings relating to translations and writings of literary translator and writer David Bellos.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Biographical Note

David Bellos (1945- ), writer, translator, and professor of French was born in England and educated at Oxford. He is particularly well-known for his translations of the French novelist and short-story writer Georges Perec. In 1988, he was awarded the IBM France translation prize for his translation of Perec's Life: A User's Manual and the Prix de Goncourt de la Biographie in 1994 for his biography Georges Perec: A Life in Words. Bellos, who is presently a professor of French at Princeton University, has written or translated numerous works in English and French on nineteenth- and twentieth-century French literature.


The collection is organized into the following series: I. Georges Perec; II. Translations of other authors; and, III. Miscellaneous.

Scope and Content Note

Consists of correspondence, notes, manuscript drafts, research files and clippings relating to translations and writings of literary translator and writer David Bellos. The majority of this collection (Series I) relates to his translations and biography of Perec. Series II consists of translations by Bellos of other authors. Present in this file are drafts and proofs of his translations of Ismail Kadare's The Great Wall and The Successor, as well as notes for an early draft of Seeking Whom He May Devour by Fred Vargas. Series III consists of articles and reviews written by Bellos, chiefly for The New York Review of Books, and clippings of reviews of various books written by Bellos.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information
Gift. 2004, 2006
Usage Restrictions
Prior arrangements are not necessary before coming to the Library, however, patrons from out of town are encouraged to communicate with the Library in advance of their visits to ascertain availability of materials.

Photocopying permitted only with permission of the Curator of Manuscripts, Lilly Library.

Preferred Citation
[Item], Bellos mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

Series: Georges Perec

Subseries: Georges Perec: A Life in Words

Box 1
Folder 1-6

Correspondence with Harvill Press and various French publishers, 1989-1998 

Folder 7-147 Correspondence and interview notes

Archinaud, Mireille

Aubier, Pascal

Baratto, Franca Trentin

Baruk, Stella

Baudelot, Christian

Benabou, Marcel

Bellour, Raymond

Benoit Mayo, France

Benoit-Levy, Jacqueline

Besis, Pierre

Binet, Olivier

Bober, Robert

Boni, Paolo and Cuchi White

Bourgeade, Pierre

Bourgois, Christian

Brunhoff, Marie Claude and Ann de

Brunhoff, Laurent de

Buffard, Dennis

Burgelin, Claude

Calvino, Esther

Čanak-Medić, Milka

Carlinski, Alberto

Čavić, Dejan

Čelić, Stojan

Chaker, M’hamed

Chambers, Ros

Chavransky, Henri

Čolak-Antić, Vojin

Contat, Michel

Corneau, Alain

Coupfermann, Emile

Crespi, Henri

Crubellier, Jean

Cuvelier, Marcel

Dancié, Christine

Debray, Regis

Dem’uzan, Michel

Desanti, Dominique

Dessau, Frédéric

Drogoz, Philippe

Dupré, Georges

Duvigneaud, Jean

Etcheverry, Julian

Faure, Jean-Paul

Fejtö, François

Fezzani, Amor

Fournel, Paul

Freadman, Ann

Frischer, Dominique

Gautier, Henry

Georges, Michelle

Getzler, Pierre

Gibson, Richard

Gotlieb in G. Lenne. "Je me souviens du cinema"

Groffsky, Maxine

Grumberg, Jean-Claude

Guerin, Alain

Guerinat, Huguette

Guitaut, Jacqueline

Helmlé, Eugen

Henneberg, Claus


Howard, Richard

Hugelin, André – Perec in the Lab

Jaulin, Bernard

Javoršek, Jože

Jemmali, Ridha

Joly, Jacques

Jousse, Michel

Jousse, Pierette

Kaplan, Leslie

Kaplan, Simone

Klarsfeld, Serge

Klippert, Werner

Kleman, Roger

Koupernik, Cyrille

Lalonde, Brice

Lamblin, Bianca

Landes, David

Lederer, Jacques

Lefèbvre, Henri

Lescure, Jean

Lieberman, Olive

Lipinska, Anne

Lipinska, Christine

Lipinska, Suzanne

Loridan, Marceline

Mailland, Jean

Mangolte, Babette

Manheim, Kate

Marcennac, Bruno (Mathieu)

Martens, Michel

Maspero, François

Mechri, Kmar

Menchari, Leïla

Mestre, Christine

Mikašinović, Branko

Mirabel, Bernard

Moaty, Francis

Molinard, Patrice

Morin, Edgar

Morris, Megan

Nadeau, Maurice

Naunim, M. A.

Obaldia, René de

Oleder/ P/C / Genre Humain

Otchakovsky-Laurens, Paul

Paris, Jean

Percheron, Daniel

Perec, Paulette

Peretz, Henri

Peretz, Uriel

Perriault, Jacques

Petrović, Zoran

Pontalis, J.-B.

Poulloux, Jean-Yves

Prévost, Jean-Pierre

Queysanne, Bernard

Quillet, Bernard

Rabin, Jean-François

Rappeneau, Jean-Paul

Raynaud, Jean

Richardson, Sylvia

Robbe-Grillet, Alain

Rosenzweig, Luc

Roubaud, Jacques

Rousseau, Marie-Claude

Rybalka, Michel

Sergent, Jean-Pierre

Serreau, Coline

Servières, Jacques

Srbinović, Mladen

Stanojević, Staša

Szulevicz, Anne/Jacques

Thibault, Marie-Noelle

Trutat, Alain

Vidal-Naquet, Pierre

Vidović, Žarko

Virilio, Paul

Zghal, Abelkader

Zingg, Gérard

Box 2
Folder 1-24

Notes and reports on research trips for Georges Perec: A Life in Words, January 1988-March 1990. 

Arranged by location or topic

Folder 25-34 Notes on specific elements of Perec’s life

Baptism of Georges Perec

Belleville between 1920 and 1925 

French history of and information on Peretz/Bienenfeld families

La ligne géneralé

Geographie de la France

Dossier scolaire/School dossier of Georges Perec

Lycée Henry IV

Military service of Georges Perec

Folder 35-40 General/miscellaneous notes for the Perec biography

Folder 41 Audiotape cassettes of research on Georges Perec recorded during visits in Tunisia, Yugoslavia and France

(5 items)

Folder 42-45 Notes relating to the composition of the biography, January, March and May 1990 

Folder 46 Notebooks on Perec

Box 3
Folder 1-6

Notes and notebooks for Georges Perec: A Life in Words

Folder 7 Correspondence, 1989,   about Georges Perec’s lecture given at the University of Warwick, UK; photocopy of the lecture, May 1967

Folder 8-12 Correspondence with publishers, etc., 1988-1993,   about Georges Perec: A Life in Words

Folder 13 Calendrier de la vie de Perec.

Original basic plan for Bellos's biography

Folder 14 Georges Perec: A Life in Words.

Early draft

Folder 15-17 Georges Perec: A Life in Words.

Corrected proofs

Box 4
Folder 1-2

Georges Perec: A Life in Words.

Corrected proofs

Folder 3-4 Ela Bienenfeld's notes on earliest version (early 1990) 

Folder 5 Bianca Lamblin's corrections to part I of 1990   version

Folder 6-8 Bellos's notes on version I, 1990-1991 

Folder 9 Problems and references

Folder 10-11 Bienenfeld, Ela. Correspondence, interview notes, photocopies of her correspondence, etc. in the University of Pennsylvania

Folder 12 Binet, Catherine. Correspondence with Georges Perec, 1977–1981 


Folder 13 Binet, Catherine. Correspondence with Harry Mathews

(photocopies of originals in the University of Pennsylvania)

Folder 14 Binet, Catherine. "La commande: ou project d’un voyage à W"


Folder 15 Binet, Catherine. "Vous sovenez-vous de Gaspard Winckler?"

Film script about Georges Perec

(photocopy with autograph corrections and changes)

Folder 16 Binet, Catherine. Correspondence and interview notes with Bellos; Film sur Georges Perec: Part I: Te souviens-tu de Gaspard Winckler? Part II: Vous sovenez-vous de Gaspard Winckler?

Folder 17 Binet, Catherine. Audio cassettes of Catherine Binet talking about Georges Perec, and the errors in David Bellos’s biography of Perec

(7 items)

Folder 18 Binet, Catherine. Documents provided by Catherine Binet: Les jeux de la comtesse Dolingen de Gratz; Binet's c.v.; notes; correspondence with Bellos

Folder 19-24 Correspondence with publishers, etc. about Perec translations, ca. 1985-1996 

Folder 25 Marie Chaix/Jacques Lederer/Laurant de Brunhoff correspondence, 1991 , with Bellos

Folder 26 Mathews, Harry. Correspondence: Oct. 1988–June 1995;  interview notes; parts of Harry Mathews's diary

Box 5
Folder 1-2

Georges Perec: A Life in Words. Reviews

Subseries: Writings, etc. by and about Georges Perec

Box 5
Folder 3-10

Photocopies of Georges Perec correspondence, 1957-1981 

Folder 11 Correspondence: Perec to Philippe Guerinat, 1956–1959,  photocopies

Folder 12 Correspondence: Perec to Eugan Hemle, transcriptions

Folder 13 Correspondence: Perec with Johann M. Kamps, transcriptions

Folder 14 Notes and transcriptions of Georges Perec's letters to Jacques Lederer, 1954-1961. 

Edited versions of the letters have been published

Folder 15 Martens, Miche.

Card annotated by Georges Perec in black ink

Folder 16-24 "53 Jours."

Photocopies of the manuscript and typescript drafts from Harry Mathews's copy of Perec’s unfinished novel; Bellos's transcriptions and editing in preparation for the translation published as 53 Days (UK 1992, US 2002).

Box 5
Folder 25

Copies of various writings by and about Perec

Folder 25 "L'Abominable Pardessus."

Film by Georges Franju, adaptation and dialogues by Georges Perec

Folder 26 "Alfred et Marie." Un film de Gérard Zingg, scénario et dialogues de Georges Perec

Folder 27 "L'Attentat de Sarajevo"


Folder 28 "La bande magnétique."

Film treatment

Folder 29 "Le Bonheur."

Unpublished article by Perec on the film by A. Varda

Folder 30 Les choses

Folder 31 "Les choses."

Script for the movie adaptation of Perec’s book and Les choses, screenplay, adaptation and dialogues by Raymond Bellour, Jean Maillaud, and Georges Perec

Folder 32 Le condottière

Folder 33 "Ellis Island Revisted: Chronicles of vagrancy and hope," translated by Harry Mathews

Folder 34-36 "Les Extraordinaires aventures de Monsieur Eveready."

Unpublished script for radio serial

Box 6
Folder 1

"Les Extraordinaires aventures de Monsieur Eveready"

Folder 2 "Le fou"

Folder 3 "Georges Perec L’amateur d’art"

Folder 4 Georges Perec – Australian Radio Programme.


Folder 5 Un homme qui dort.

Film script

Folder 6 Der Kartoffelkessel, radio-adaptation

Folder 7-8 Konzertstück

Folder 9-10 Lieux d’une fugue

Folder 11 "Les Lieux d’une ruse/About my analysis"

Folder 12 Life: A User's manual, correspondence, 1985 

Folder 13-14 Die Maschine

Folder 15 Malédiction! Screenplay by Perec and Jean-Pierre Prévost

Folder 16 Manderre

Folder 17 Notes for films: "Le club," "Le prince Michel," "La couronne de Saint Mathias," "La coronne de fer"

Folder 18 L'Oeil de l'Autre

Folder 19 Plays, Pieces and Puzzles


Folder 20 Poetry by Georges Perec

Folder 21 Quel petit vélo

Folder 22 Radioscopie – Georges Perec.

Interview by Jacques Chancel

Folder 23 Signe particuler: NEANT.

Projet de long-métrage de fiction

Folder 24 "The Story of a Painting," translated by Bellos

Folder 25 A tire d’aile, script for the film by Pascal Aubier, adaptation and dialogues by Georges Perec

Folder 26 La vie privée.

Corrected proofs


Folder 27-28 Voyage d’hiver/The Winter Journey

Folder 29-32 W ou le souvenir d’enfance

Folder 33 "Wucherungen."

German radio script


Box 7
Folder 1

Miscellaneous short pieces by Perec

Folder 2-23 Miscellaneous Perec memorabilia, magazines, articles, art publications, etc.

Included is a photocopy of Perec’s elementary school notebook; book blurbs by Perec; two cigarillo boxes left by Georges Perec in photo session which resulted in a famous Perec and cat photograph; medical pamphlets of the sort Georges Perec dealt with as bibliographer of the CNRS LA 38; obituaries of Perec

Folder 24-30 Scrapbooks of Perec Press files

(7 items)

Box 8
Folder 1

Scrapbooks of Perec Press files (cont.).

Inventory listings: 1) by date; 2) by scrapbook number; 3) by newspaper/magazine; and 4) alphabetically by author

Folder 2 Copies of dust jackets for various Perec publications

Folder 3-26 Miscellaneous.

Includes clippings, photocopies of articles, lecture notes, etc. Some relate to Perec, some do not.

Arranged alphabetically by author or subject of the file.


Appel du Silence

Atelier de création radiophonique

Ave de Segur

Simone de Beauvoir.

Reading notes

Maurice Blanchot

Georges Burnacks

Les Doigts dan la Cassure

Philippe Drogoz – L'enlevement, opera en cinq actes

Sergei M. Eisenstein

John Forbes

Lucien Goldman, notes

Alain Guerin, "Le bon depart."


Hamon/Rotman, "Génération, les anées de Rêve"

E.A.J. Honigmann article on autobiography, New York Review, Dec. 7, 1989 

Les Doigts dan la Cassure

Les Doigts dan la Cassure

Jean-Noel Jeanneney

Franz Kafka.

Translation history, notes

Milan Kundera. TLS review, June 24, 1988 

Helen Lane.


Henri Lefebvre.


Christine Lipinska.


G. Lukács translations.


Clara Malraux, Atlan

Patricia Molteni

Folder 27 Bellos correspondence with Random House publishers, 2002-2003 

(email printouts)

Series: Translations of other authors

Subseries: Kadare, Ismail

Box 8
Folder 28

The Great Wall.

First draft of translation; printout; copy-edited galleys (two sets)

Folder 29 The Successor.

First draft of translation

Folder 30 The Successor.

Late draft with some corrections by Bellos in pencil

Folder 31 The Successor.

Bellos’s responses to copy-editor; corrected galleys

Folder 32 Clippings about Kadare and reviews of his works

Subseries: Vargas, Fred

Box 8
Folder 33

Seeking Whom He May Devour.

Bellos's notes

Folder 34 Seeking Whom He May Devour.

First version of translation, heavily corrected

Series: Miscellaneous

Box 8
Folder 36

Miscellaneous articles, etc. written by Bellos for The New York Review of Books

Folder 37 Clippings of reviews of various books written by Bellos