Odile

Odile

by Raymond Queneau
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

"Even though I can't remember my childhood, my memory being as if ravaged by some disaster, there nevertheless remains a series of images from the time before my birth . . . of my first twenty years, only ruins are left in a memory devastated by unhappiness." These opening lines from Queneau's novel, first published in France in 1937, are a brilliant, moving…  See more details below

Overview

"Even though I can't remember my childhood, my memory being as if ravaged by some disaster, there nevertheless remains a series of images from the time before my birth . . . of my first twenty years, only ruins are left in a memory devastated by unhappiness." These opening lines from Queneau's novel, first published in France in 1937, are a brilliant, moving introduction to a story about the devastating psychological effects of war, about falling in love, about politics subverting human relationships, about life in Paris during the early 1930s amid intellectuals and artists whose activities range from writing for radical magazines to conjuring the ghost of Lenin in seances. Most of all, it's about Roland Travy's agonizing search for happiness after having been conditioned to live unhappily but safely for so long, about his growing self-awareness and need for another human being, about his willingness to shed his fears and accept his humanity. This edition includes an introduction by the translator.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Albert Camus
Raymond Queneau's books are ambiguous fairylands in which scenes of everyday life are mingled with a melancholy that is ageless. Though they are not without bitterness, their author seems always to set his face against conclusions, and to be moved by a kind of horror of seriousness.
Picayune New Orleans Times
How can anyone not love Queneau?
SmallPress
All in all, Odile is an extraordinary production, a book to be treasured.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
One of the author's early works, this charming, semi-autobiographical novel was written before Queneau developed the highly intellectualized style that became his trademark. Like Queneau, who became involved with the Surrealists in the mid-'20s after military service in North Africa, the narrator, Roland Travy, joins a group headed by a flamboyant individual named Anglares (a disguised portrait of surrealist Andre Breton). Queneau takes deliciously funny stabs at his ``fellow revolutionaries of the unconscious,'' describing their flirtation with communism and, ultimately, Travy's break with the group. In the meantime, Travy marries Odile, a sunny but flakey young woman from a similar bourgeois background, but their relationship is too bizarre even for the Surrealists. Written in a cool detached style, full of witticisms and puns, this is Queneau at his most accessible. (Dec.)
From the Publisher

"A marvelous sendup of the Surrealists of the late 1920s and early 1930s as well as a moving love story....Both a madcap roman a clef... and a parable about the search for spiritual equilibrium and human meaning." --Kirkus

Dalkey Archive Press

"Written in a cool detached style, full of witticisms and puns, this is Queneau at his most accessible."-- PW

Dalkey Archive Press

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780916583347
Publisher:
Dalkey Archive Press
Publication date:
01/28/1989
Series:
Imaginaire Series
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
119
Product dimensions:
5.85(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.87(d)

Meet the Author

Raymond Queneau (1903-1976) is acknowledged as one of the most influential of modern French writers, having helped determine the shape of twentieth-century French literature, especially in his role with the Oulipo, a group of authors that includes Italo Calvino, Georges Perec, and Harry Mathews, among others.

Sanders is Professor of French, Department of Linguistic and International Studies, University of Surrey.

Sanders is Professor of French, Department of Linguistic and International Studies, University of Surrey.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >