Pierrot Mon Ami

Pierrot Mon Ami

by Raymond Queneau
     
 

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"Pierrot Mon Ami was perhaps Queneau's masterpiece . . . This unlikely guru exerted a major influence on a new avant-garde (notably on Georges Perec, who was devoted to him). But if there was a sage in Queneau he never imparted his wisdom more touchingly than in Pierrot Mon Ami."—Times Literary SupplementSee more details below

Overview

"Pierrot Mon Ami was perhaps Queneau's masterpiece . . . This unlikely guru exerted a major influence on a new avant-garde (notably on Georges Perec, who was devoted to him). But if there was a sage in Queneau he never imparted his wisdom more touchingly than in Pierrot Mon Ami."—Times Literary Supplement

Editorial Reviews

Cityweek
“Loopily clever . . . inexhaustibly inventive, unremittingly disconcerting, overflowing with subversive energy, surrealistic wit, and rough-edged whimsy . . . All [of Barbara Wright's] translations, including this one, are triumphs of ingenuity. After reading her English version of Pierrot Mon Ami, I raced through Queneau's original in delighted admiration . . . It is full of sentences which dizzy the reader with the hilarity of their close-packed variety of tone: low argot sabotages an elaborate metaphor in elevated language like Harpo Marx goosing Margaret Dumont . . . Queneau's books deserve a wider audience than they have yet won in this country. Anyone who has read one of Wright's translations has probably read them all, and will go out and get this one without needing to be urged. But if you haven't read one already, Pierrot Mon Ami would be an excellent introduction. I must warn you that a taste for Queneau can escalate quite easily into an addiction, but you shouldn't let that stop you, because most good book stores here offer three or four of Wright's translations in paperback, and he's even more fun to re-read than to read.”
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. 'Foolishness,' according to Flaubert, 'consists of wanting to reach a conclusion.' One can imagine those words as the epigraph to Queneau's Pierrot Mon Ami.”
The Guardian
“A jaunty little tale of unusual verbal dexterity . . . [T]he inventive vernacular of his books . . . is of course in no way ordinary.”
Martin Esslin
“ Pierrot Mon Ami is a poem on chance and destiny, on the relationship between what should have happened and what actually does happen . . . Pierrot represents one of the main types of the Queneau hero: the simpleton who is a natural poet and who passes through the world without understanding it, without seeking to understand it. In an absurd and meaningless universe this is the most rational and least foolish of all possible attitudes: the taking of life as it comes, without thought of the morrow, and with the resulting freedom to enjoy its simple pleasures.”
Hollins Critic
“A comic masterpiece.”
The New Yorker
“We always feel good reading a Queneau novel; he is the least depressing of the moderns, the least heavy, with something Mozartian about the easy, self-pleasing flow of his absurd plots.”
Bloomsbury Review
“Bizarre . . . entertaining fiction.”
Alain Robbe-Grillet
“I must underline here the importance of the novels of Raymond Queneau, whose texture often and whose movement always are strictly those of the imagination.”
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Pierrot is a Chaplinesque figure who works at a series of marginal jobs for an amusement park, and competes with his friend Paradis for the affections of the owner's daughter. ``Originally published in France in 1942 and in England in 1950, this novel's pared down, often vulgar language is supplemented by highly inventive word plays and snippets of philosophy,'' said PW . (Sept.)
Library Journal
Among the last of Queneau's major works to be translated into English, this highly stylized novel draws upon the author's intimate journal (1920-28) for many details. Like the novel's main character, Queneau went to Paris from Normandy to study philosophy in 1920. This is, however, more than an autobiographical journey through Parisian student life in the 1920s. It is an artfully crafted literary mosaic of oppositions and similarities (of characters, descriptions, attitudes, and perceptions) that emphasize the literary quality of this work. The finality evoked in the title is rich in potential for intepretation, as is the work itself. The use of puns and neologisms, as well as other stylistic and rhetorical devices characteristic of Queneau's work, have come to be recognized as uniquely his.-- Anthony Caprio, Oglethorpe Univ., Atlanta, Ga.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781564783974
Publisher:
Dalkey Archive Press
Publication date:
09/28/1989
Series:
French Literature Series
Pages:
159
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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