“Traps are laid, deals are set up, alliances are made and unmade in the stadium passageways, in the changing rooms, in the showers, in the mess halls. The most expirienced try to barter their good advice; a wrestler sells a favor: he’ll pretend to knock you out, you’ll be able to play deaduntill the starter’s pistol goes off.”
This part might be confusing at first. It’s just parital description of author’s imagined island. People who live there have only one occupation. They compete in sports. So while in our world Olympics are supposed to bring all the nations together in peaceful rivalisation, in this nightmare place no fair play rules apply. Suprisingly there’s only one country and no guns, no bombs, no trenches, no warplanes. And nothing changes!
Influenced by history of years ’39-45 in Europe, Perec isn’t exactly what we call an optimist in regards to human nature. Human is human, meaning lupus. Tell a man: being first at the finish line is essence of your life, he’d do anything to be there before competitors. Hance all the methods developed to slow down opponents, all these dirty little tricks in changing rooms. Win by all means, this is the message promoted on every step by guys with power. It works.
The climax point is an event consisting of chasing and raping woman. On the stadium of course, it’s just a sport, but sport here means war. Sportsman have to fight each other first than catch who they can. And that’s where children come from if you want to know. Geogre let’s his imagination run wild to say the least. Lots of running on his mind. And nowhere to escape. You probably think about Orwell’s dystopia right now. You should.