Raymond Queneau - Author

About the Author

An intellectual and polymath of the highest order, Raymond Queneau was, variously, a novelist, poet, essayist, lyricist, scriptwriter, translator, film director and amateur mathematician. Born in Le Havre in 1903, he studied philosophy at the Sorbonne, was involved for a while with the Surrealist movement, joined the prestigious reading committee of the publishers Gallimard and co-founded the Oulipo group, a literary workshop in existence to this day.

His main achievement in the eyes of the public, though, was to write Zazie in the Metro (1959), the thirteenth of his fifteen novels. Adapted for film, stage and comic-strip, it proved enormously popular - so much so that this leading light of the French literary establishment came to be overpoweringly associated in the public mind with his irreverent and entertaining creation. He died in 1976.

Featured books by Raymond Queneau

Other books by Raymond Queneau

The Blue Flowers

The Blue Flowers

Author: Raymond Queneau Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/09/2018

We Always Treat Women Too Well

We Always Treat Women Too Well

Author: Raymond Queneau Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/07/2017

Published originally as the purported French translation of a novel by fictional Irish writer Sally Mara, We Always Treat Women Too Well is set in Dublin during the 1916 Easter Rising and tells the story of the siege of a small post office by a group of rebels, who discover to their embarrassment that a female postal clerk, Gertie Girdle, is still in the lavatory some time after they have shot or expelled the rest of the staff. The events that follow are not for prudish readers, forming a scintillating, linguistically delightful and hilarious narrative. By far Queneau's bawdiest work, We Always Treat Women Too Well contains all of its author's hallmarks: wit, stylistic innovation and formal playfulness - expertly rendered into English by Barbara Wright's classic translation.

The Flight of Icarus

The Flight of Icarus

Author: Raymond Queneau Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/07/2017

In late-nineteenth-century Paris, the writer Hubert is shocked to discover that Icarus, the protagonist of the new novel he's working on, has vanished. Looking for him among the manuscripts of his rivals does not solve the mystery, so a detective is hired to find the runaway character, who is now in Montparnasse, where he learns to drink absinthe and is picked up by a friendly prostitute.

The Sunday of Life

The Sunday of Life

Author: Raymond Queneau Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/07/2017

When shop-owner Julia Segovia decides that she's going to marry the handsome if exceedingly young and naive soldier Valentin Bru, he willingly goes along with her scheme. Little does he know that he will have to contend with disgruntled in-laws, eccentric locals, a cunning wife, a shifty career in fortune-telling, the approaching threat of war with Germany and the mysteries of Parisian public transport. With a cast of eccentric characters, amusing incidents and an uplifting tone, The Sunday of Life - its title playfully alluding to Hegel's theory of history - is a scintillating novel which showcases Queneau's trademark punning, sly wit and delight in the absurdity of people and situations.

Exercises in Style

Exercises in Style

Author: Raymond Queneau Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/09/2013

On a crowded bus at midday, the narrator observes one man accusing another of jostling him deliberately. When a seat is vacated, the first man takes it. Later, in another part of town, the man is spotted again, while being advised by a friend to have another button sewn onto his overcoat. Exercises in Style retells this apparently unremarkable tale ninety-nine times, employing a variety of styles, ranging from sonnet to cockney to mathematical formula. Too funny to be merely a pedantic thesis, this virtuoso set of themes and variations is a linguistic rustremover, a guide to literary forms and a demonstration of imagery and inventiveness.

The Sunday of Life

The Sunday of Life

Author: Raymond Queneau Format: Paperback Release Date: 11/10/2012

When shop-owner Julia Segovia decides that she's going to marry the handsome if exceedingly young and naive soldier Valentin Bru, he willingly goes along with her scheme. Little does he know that he will have to contend with disgruntled in-laws, eccentric locals, a cunning wife, a shifty career in fortune-telling, the approaching threat of war with Germany and the mysteries of Parisian public transport. With a cast of eccentric characters, amusing incidents and an uplifting tone, The Sunday of Life - its title playfully alluding to Hegel's theory of history - is a scintillating novel which showcases Queneau's trademark punning, sly wit and delight in the absurdity of people and situations.

Pierrot Mon Ami

Pierrot Mon Ami

Author: Raymond Queneau, Inez Hedges Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/09/2009

Odile

Odile

Author: Raymond Queneau Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/09/2009

EyeSeas Selected Poems (Les Ziaux)

EyeSeas Selected Poems (Les Ziaux)

Author: Raymond Queneau Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/07/2008

In the United States, Raymond Queneau (1903-1976) is known mainly for his novel Zazie dans le metro, which was made into a film by Louis Malle, for Excercises in Style, and for being the founder and one of the most important members of the literary movement known as Oulipo. In France and much of Europe Queneau is known for his prolific and wide ranging writings. During his lifetime some eighteen novels, ten volumes of poetry, seven volumes of essays, and countless other published essays and commentaries kept him in public view and continue to do so today as new biographies, symposiums, and critical writings on him appear with regularity. Les Ziaux (Eyeseas) present a bilingual survey of his poems as written from his early Surrealist days of the 1920's through to 1943 and is representative of Queneau's range of poetic voices. As so little of Queneau's poetry has been published in English, we hope this translation will not only fill a serious void but may also help to inspire interest in the poetry of one of the most important French writers of the twentieth-century.

Elementary Morality

Elementary Morality

Author: Raymond Queneau Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/01/2008

Raymond Queneau (1903-76) was born at Le Havre in 1903, where he was educated before studying at the Sorbonne in Paris. Between 1924 and 1929 Queneau was active in the surrealist movement and composed its manifesto, Permettez! . Queneau collaborated with a number of Nouvelle Vague film directors, most successfully with Louis Malle's 1960 adaptation of his novel Zazie dans le metro . Also, Juliette Greco made popular his song Si tu t'imagines. In 1951, Queneau was elected to the Goncourt Academy. He died on October 26, 1976.

Stories and Remarks

Stories and Remarks

Author: Raymond Queneau, Michel Leiris Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/08/2000

Stories and Remarks collects the best of Raymond Queneau's shorter prose. The works span his career and include short stories, an uncompleted novel, melancholic and absurd essays, occasionally baffling Texticles, a pastiche of Alice in Wonderland, and his only play. Talking dogs, boozing horses, and suicides come head to head with ruminations on the effects of aerodynamics on addition, rhetorical dreams, and a pioneering example of permutational fiction influenced by computer language. Also included is Michel Leiris's preface from the French edition, an introduction by the translator, and endnotes addressing each piece individually. Raymond Queneau-polyglot, novelist, philosopher, poet, mathematician, screenwriter, and translator-was one of the most significant figures in twentieth-century French letters. His work touches on many of the major literary movements of his lifetime, from surrealism to the experimental school of the nouveau roman. He also founded the Oulipo, a collection of writers and mathematicians dedicated to the search for artificial inspiration via the application of constraint.

Raymond Queneau/Carole Maso

Raymond Queneau/Carole Maso

Author: Raymond Queneau, Carole Maso Format: Paperback Release Date: 11/01/1997

Saint Glinglin

Saint Glinglin

Author: Raymond Queneau, James Sallis Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/08/1993

Exercises in Style

Exercises in Style

Author: Raymond Queneau Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/02/1981

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