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Zazie in the Metro by Raymond Queneau
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Zazie in the Metro (1959)

by Raymond Queneau

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (16)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  All languages (20)
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)

“Being or nothing, that is the question. Ascending, descending, coming, going, a man does so much that in the end he disappears.”
― Raymond Queneau, Zazie in the Metro

A Raymond Queneau funny-bone tickler, a witty zazissle through Paris with Uncle Gabriel hosting visiting Zazie, the ever oh so very loveable little wisecracker who oh so very much wishes to ride the city’s Metro. And I was ever on the qt for how many of RQ’s 99 exercises in style turn up displaying their linguistic proboscis in this whimsical 150 page chocolate croissant. Oodles and oodles as per this snatch of dialogue in the opening pages:

Not displeased with his turn of phrase, the little chap wasn’t. Only the great hulk didn’t let up, it leant over him and uttered this monophasic pentasyllable:
‘Wottusaidjustnow.’
The little chap began to get apprehensive. Now was his time, now was the moment to forge some sort of verbal buckler. The first that came into his head was an alexandrine:
‘And anyway who said that you could call me tu?’
‘Yellow-belly,’ retorted Gabriel with simplicity.’

That's alexandrine (like many readers, I have to look up such words), as in a line of poetic meter comprising 12 syllables. Anyway, this little book, is sooo much fun. That’s so much fun as in novel as literary polyphony, one melodic line being the light, lyrical, oh-so-very-much-like a French film storyline of Zazie’s romp; the second melodic line as in the ever present fun and games with all phases of language: spelling, slang, colloquialisms, malapropisms, grammar, syntax, run-ons and run-overs and many of those 99 fanciful exercises in style. One more for instance to service up a la fin:

She dares not articulate the disyllabic and anglo-saxon word which would mean what she means. It’s the chap who pronounces it.
‘You wouldn’t by any chance have a pair of blewgenes for the little girl? He asks the middleman. ‘That is what you’d like?’
‘Oh yess,’ yespers Zazie.

Tally-ho with Raymond Queneau!


Some of the letters that make their appearance in this Raymond Queneau novel novel
( )
  Glenn_Russell | Nov 13, 2018 |

A Raymond Queneau funny-bone tickler, a witty zazissle through Paris with Uncle Gabriel hosting visiting Zazie, the ever oh so very loveable little wisecracker who oh so very much wishes to ride the city’s Metro. And I was ever on the qt for how many of RQ’s 99 exercises in style turn up displaying their linguistic proboscis in this whimsical 150 page chocolate croissant. Oodles and oodles as per this snatch of dialogue in the opening pages:

Not displeased with his turn of phrase, the little chap wasn’t. Only the great hulk didn’t let up, it leant over him and uttered this monophasic pentasyllable:
‘Wottusaidjustnow.’
The little chap began to get apprehensive. Now was his time, now was the moment to forge some sort of verbal buckler. The first that came into his head was an alexandrine:
‘And anyway who said that you could call me tu?’
‘Yellow-belly,’ retorted Gabriel with simplicity.’

That's alexandrine (like many readers, I have to look up such words), as in a line of poetic meter comprising 12 syllables. Anyway, this little book, is sooo much fun. That’s so much fun as in novel as literary polyphony, one melodic line being the light, lyrical, oh-so-very-much-like a French film storyline of Zazie’s romp; the second melodic line as in the ever present fun and games with all phases of language: spelling, slang, colloquialisms, malapropisms, grammar, syntax, run-ons and run-overs and many of those 99 fanciful exercises in style. One more for instance to service up a la fin:

She dares not articulate the disyllabic and anglo-saxon word which would mean what she means. It’s the chap who pronounces it.
‘You wouldn’t by any chance have a pair of blewgenes for the little girl? He asks the middleman. ‘That is what you’d like?’
‘Oh yess,’ yespers Zazie.

Tally-ho with Raymond Queneau!
( )
  GlennRussell | Feb 16, 2017 |
This is a very humorous book. The humor is totally unexpected, often absurd, but nonetheless very enjoyable. Some of the characters, many?, are very outlandish; their behavior is zany; their language sometimes borders on the obsence.
Zazie, the main character, is a young girl of unknown age, could be pre-adolescent, who is very sassy, and has a mildly foulmouth. But she is very clever and gives life to all the other characters with her crazy behavior.
I found myself going back to read some chapters because they were so enjoyable. They actually made me laugh outloud.
  xieouyang | Nov 19, 2016 |
This is a hoot of a book. Surreal like Flann O'Brien is surreal. The word play is fun and gives the prose its rhythm. Zazie is a feisty potty-mouth who stirs up the weekend of her uncle and his friends. On her account they encounter all kinds of rum characters, and largely take it in their stride. Good fun, all of it. ( )
1 vote missizicks | Nov 11, 2015 |
Os fatos pitorescos e absurdos da curta visita de Zazie a Paris.

Precursor do humor absurdo, este livro conta a estória da impertinente, desbocada e independente Zazie, uma pré-adolescente que vai visitar Paris com o único objetivo de andar de metrô. Nesta viagem, ela encontra as mais variadas e inverossímeis personagens, sempre em uma atmosfera desleixada e indefinível.

Queneau brinca muito com palavras e expressões e tem um estilo fluente e cômico. Na mistura de tipos e situações disparatadas ele consegue levar o leitor a divertir-se, cair na gargalhada mesmo. Entre os malucos que caminham pelo livro temos um tarado elegante, um travesti filósofo que não conhece os pontos turísticos de Paris e uma viúva iludida e inescrupulosamente disponível. Os diálogos engraçadíssimos e inteligentes e o humor diferente (para a época) tornam este um livro que vale a pena ser lido. ( )
  Binderman | Aug 16, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (30 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Raymond Queneauprimary authorall editionscalculated
del Piombo, AkbarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Duheme, JacquelineIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ferranti, FerrantePhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fortini, FrancoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Helmlé, EugenÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kahane, EricTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wright, BarbaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
Doukipudonktan, se demanda Gabriel excédé. (In English: "Howcanyastinksotho, wondered Gabriel, exasperated.")
Quotations
— Ah, la foire aux puces, dit Zazie de l'air de quelqu'un qui veut pas se laisser épater, c'est là où on trouve des ranbrans pour pas cher, ensuite on les vend à un Amerlo et on a pas perdu sa journée.

— Y a pas que les ranbrans, dit le type[...].
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Book description
Haiku summary
Poinçonneurs en grève:
Pas de Métro pour Zazie,
Qui mange des moules-frites.
(thorold)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142180041, Paperback)

Impish, foul-mouthed Zazie arrives in Paris from the country to stay with Gabriel, her female-impersonator uncle. All she really wants to do is ride the metro, but finding it shut because of a strike, Zazie looks for other means of amusement and is soon caught up in a comic adventure that becomes wilder and more manic by the minute. In 1960 Queneau's cult classic was made into a hugely successful film by Louis Malle. Packed full of word play and phonetic games, Zazie in the Metro remains as stylish and witty as ever.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:45 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"Impish, foul-mouthed Zazie arrives in Paris from the country to stay with her female-impersonator Uncle Gabriel. All she really wants to do is ride the metro, but finding it shut because of a strike, Zazie looks for other means of amusement and is soon caught up in a comic adventure that becomes wilder and more manic by the minute. Queneau's cult classic was made into a hugely successful film by Louis Malle in 1960. Packed full of word play and phonetic games, Zazie in the Metro remains as stylish and witty as ever."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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