First published in France in 1937, this brilliant, moving novel is about the devastating psychological effects of war, about falling in love, about politics subverting human relationships, and about life in Paris during the early 1930s amid intellecturals and artists whose activities range from writing for radical magazines to conjuring the ghost ...
First published in France in 1937, this brilliant, moving novel is about the devastating psychological effects of war, about falling in love, about politics subverting human relationships, and about life in Paris during the early 1930s amid intellecturals and artists whose activities range from writing for radical magazines to conjuring the ghost of Lenin in seances. Raymond Queneau (1903-1976) has been one of the most powerful forces in shaping the direction of French fiction in the past fifty years. His other novels includes The Last Days, Pierrot Mon Ami, and Saint Glinglin.
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Publishers Weekly, 1988-11-04 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.)
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