Friday, April 19, 2019

A to Z Raymond Queneau, Author

A to Z Challenge Here

One thing I love about doing the A to Z Blogging Challenge, is that it challenges me to come up with new things. I like to have a theme and always find that I learn so much because though I might have lots of ideas in mind, when I start writing the posts I have to research each one to find information that might be interesting to others. Invariably it teaches me things I didn’t know about the subject. It also makes me look for new things to write about because, let’s face it, Q, X, Y and Z are not easy to find subjects about!
An example is this post about French author Raymond Queneau. When looking for a “Z” to write about I found Zazie, and in reading about her I found she’d been nicknamed Zazie because she reminded her parents of the character in Raymond Queneau’s novel, “Zazie in the Metro” (Zazie dans Le Metro 1959). I watched the trailer for the movie (1960) and got an idea of why the singer Zazie was given that nickname, especially when you see how sassy she can be. 

Raymond Queneau, author, looking serious

I then wanted to know more about Raymond Queneau as a writer. He seems to have been a man like any other, ups and downs with a good work ethic. 

RQ looking not quite so serious

I went on to find some of his quotes on Goodreads.
Here are a few. They speak more to the writer he was than I ever can…

“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
Zazie book cover

“I don't know how long I stayed in that particular place my poor memory is not a chronometer nor a movie camera nor a phonograph nor any other sort of finely tuned machine. It's more like nature with holes empty spaces hidden nooks and crannies with rivers that trickle away so that you can never dip your foot in the same water twice and with patches of light and darkness.”
Raymond Queneau (Author)

“He wanted to be content with an identity nicely chopped into pieces of varying lengths, but whose character was always similar, without dyeing it in autumnal colors, drenching it in April showers or mottling it with the instability of clouds.”
Raymond Queneau

“The only advantage he could see in the change was that he had a small desk in his room; his capacity for isolation was thereby increased. But none of this changed his life very much. He continued his games of billiards and his reading. And was periodically overwhelmed by abominable fits of despair from which he was abruptly extricated by a ridiculous but stubborn optimism, an absurd love of life.”
Raymond Queneau, The Last Days
And lastly, from Zazie:

“–Alors tu t’es bien amusée ? (So, did you have fun?)
–Comme ça. (So so.)
–T’as vu le métro ? (Did you see the metro?)
–Non. (No.)
–Alors, qu’est-ce que t’as fait ? (So what did you do?)
–J’ai vieilli”  (I got older.)
Raymond Queneau, Zazie in the Metro

A trailer for Zazie Dans le Metro the film 



  1. I love Raymond Queneau! Do you know about combinatorial poetry? Or OuLiPo? It's all about writing with constraints: Georges Perec wrote a book without one "e" for example. Lot of fun to make as exercice!

  2. In the second to last quote, the bit about " an absurd love of life" YES! So much Yes.


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