Le Chiendent

Le Chiendent Depuis qu elle avait vu un homme cras vers les cinq heures de l apr s midi devant la gare du Nord Mme Cloche tait enchant e Naturellement elle disait qu elle n avait jamais vu une chose plus horri

  • Title: Le Chiendent
  • Author: Raymond Queneau
  • ISBN: 9782070365883
  • Page: 392
  • Format: Paperback
  • Depuis qu elle avait vu un homme cras , vers les cinq heures de l apr s midi, devant la gare du Nord, Mme Cloche tait enchant e Naturellement elle disait qu elle n avait jamais vu une chose plus horrible que a et il devait en tre ainsi, car le pauvre Potice avait t soigneusement lamin par un autobus Par une s rie de hasards soigneusement pr par s, elle se trouv Depuis qu elle avait vu un homme cras , vers les cinq heures de l apr s midi, devant la gare du Nord, Mme Cloche tait enchant e Naturellement elle disait qu elle n avait jamais vu une chose plus horrible que a et il devait en tre ainsi, car le pauvre Potice avait t soigneusement lamin par un autobus Par une s rie de hasards soigneusement pr par s, elle se trouva assise, vers la m me heure, en face du m me endroit, la terrasse d un caf qu une bienheureuse co ncidence avait justement plac l Elle commanda t une camomille, et patiemment, attendit que la chose se renouvel t.

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      Published :2019-01-22T04:40:31+00:00

    One thought on “Le Chiendent”

    1. Certain people who think a lot about these things and then have their thoughts published point to the years 1938-39 as the beginning of postmodernism in literature. Those were the years that saw the publication of Finnegans Wake, At Swim-Two-Birds and Beckett’s Murphy. Stellar. They were also years in which the world was falling apart into total fucking cataclysm, what with that generation- and continent-destroying World War thing going on, and shattered art begins to reflect shattered space a [...]

    2. What may one see just sitting in a café? One may see life. One may observe human beings caught in the routine of living.“He noticed, not on purpose, though, that his shoes were down-at-the-heels; so were those of the next man next to him, and of the next man, too. He suddenly had a vision of a civilization of down-at-the-heel shoes, a culture of worn-away soles, a symphony of suede and box calf, in the process of being reduced to the remarkably minimal thickness of the paper tablecloths in re [...]

    3. This isn’t some magazine for curious botanists, oh no. It’s Queneau’s debut showcase novel, a bright blazing epic of comedic splendour, and a love letter to Paris and its pond life.At the present moment I feel a little languorous, so further observations or reductive summaries will have to hang fire until the liveliness of spirit is once again reinstated in my brain. In the meantime, here is a general piece of advice: don’t read Eggers. Read Queneau instead. Don’t read Coupland. Read Q [...]

    4. Sometimes a book will fail us and sometimes we will fail a book. I failed “Witch Grass” , on paper it’s something that I should have been all over, characters talk for pages at a time talk turns into philosophy , there’s houses with unfinished rooms, waterproof hats with rubber ducks , people are affected by a man ran over my a bus and killed the scene is told and retold by different ways through different characters’ accounts, it’s a book with great original prose , Raymond Queneau [...]

    5. The silhouette of a man appeared in profile; so, simultaneously, did thousands. There really were thousands. He had just opened his eyes, and the teeming streets were seething; seething, too, were the men who worked all day. This particular silhouette emerged from the wall of an enormous, unbearable building, an edifice which looked as if it were designed for suffocation, and which was a bank. The silhouette, detached from the wall now, oscillated, jostled by other shapes, not visibly behaving a [...]

    6. (Proper review pending. hopefully. unlikely) In the meantime, read Geoff's review. (p.s. It took forever to copy and combine the images of the duck and the top hat and to draw in the water. Totally worth it, though.)(p.p.s. While reading, I couldn't help thinking that this would make a perfect Guy Ritchie movie--in the same vein as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels or Snatch. The more farcical it got, though, the more I thought it would make a perfect Wes Anderson movie--in the same vein as Th [...]

    7. I just reread this as part of my Oulipian bender (thank YOU, Daniel Levin Becker), and I loved it even more than I did the first time. I think that's maybe because I'm a better reader now than I was a decade ago, which, to be honest, sort of makes me feel like a bad-ass (I'm progressing in life and learning!), but also makes me want to reread EVERYTHING.

    8. Hard to say what I made of this. It was hard to find a paragraph I didn't like. But the whole thing didn't cohere at all, and I made the mistake of reading it in translation-- altogether to many puns based on regional accents and broad working-class Parisian dialect here to be read in anything other than the original-- and furthermore this book was just trop, trop français. Queneau's own Zazie in the Metro is practically a man in a mustache and a stripy shirt well-armed with a satchel full of b [...]

    9. This is a very disorienting and odd read that seems almost like picaresque Jarry. Q. is a very intelligent writer that doesn't expect to be liked by people that won't bother to let him have free reign in creating a new experience for them. Witch Grass is a very bookish book that is aware of other bookish books. Pardon my lazy writing but Witch Grass has sort of unraveled my clarity at the moment and I feel labored in writing a review of a book that doesn't lend itself to easy comprehension. But [...]

    10. It starts with the evening rush hour, the usual stream of people heading from banks and offices to the train; among them is an observer, a person who doesn't work, but who sits at a café at this time of the day, to watch. The people are all the same to the observer, each a silhouette in a sea of silhouettes, but then one becomes familiar over the course of several days. We see the silhouette, the man, go home; we see his wife, his stepson, his cat, the unfinished house they live in, out in the [...]

    11. Literature's a funny thing, we've tried since the beginning to establish concrete standards for greatness, or even just for what's good and what's not; but there's no getting around the fact that people read books and people change and so our experiences of books always change. A reading of a book today can vary considerably from a reading of the same book ten years ago, regardless of objective standards. I for one don't need no stinkin "objective standards."So a few years ago I loved this book. [...]

    12. This surrealist novel is the first by Raymond Queneau, and the first of his I have read (working my way towards Zazie in the Metro which I am told I will especially like). In Witch Grass a man sitting in a cafe in Paris sees another man and wonders who he is and what his life is like. Immediately the other man comes to life and the reader is taken through this bizarre sequence of events which is often compared to Lewis Carroll in style. There are normal everyday objects that become very central [...]

    13. Perhaps Pynchon did not read this book but I'd be surprised. Queneau gets into postmodernist mode in the final 2 chapters and it's worth the read. Up to that point, his portrayal of identity and perception is also worthwhile. The plot unravels a bit at the end but he makes it appear that it was supposed to do that. Shame that more postmodernists don't have that skill.

    14. Łuskanie postaciWariacka powieść podmiejska osnuta na kanwie zabawy w głuchy telefon – tak w skrócie można opisać „Psią trawkę” Queneau. Kto mieszkał kiedyś w malutkich miasteczkach albo bywa na wsi, kojarzy być może duszną atmosferę, w której ludzie podsłuchują to, co nie przeznaczone dla nich, słyszą z tego tylko połowę, rozumieją jeszcze mniej i dopowiadają sobie całą resztę. Na farsę – materiał idealny. Tyle tylko, że z początku nic jej nie zapowiada. C [...]

    15. A complex but surprisingly accessible novel - I'm not sure where you would classify this one in the pantheon of 20th century literatureexistentialist? (but without the dour hopelessness that sometimes pervades those works) or something else altogether? Oh well, it doesn't matter. It's a funny, unique book. At times it rings of satire, but Queneau pays far more attention to crafting a thorough and believable physical setting for his book than most satirists would. There are descriptive passages a [...]

    16. The French title is Chiendent (dogtooth) - though "Witch Grass" may be the North American plant name for the exact species that French name refers to (Dichanthelium boreale), it seems like the pun or multiple meanings of the title could have been echoed in translation with a little less botanical fidelity - how about "Hound's tongue" (of the genus Cynoglossum, a family which includes wild comfrey), or "horehound" (brothels are a persistent theme in the book), a folk term for a flowering plant of [...]

    17. Pre-dating Perec, but very influential in the modern French novel is Queaneau. 'Witch Grass' is a good starting point to his writings. Full of humour, constructed around around a number of intersecting misunderstandings, this is definitely a non-conventional novel, accessible, and difficult to describe.

    18. This was terrific: a book that could only be a book, despite some really cinematic elements. It playfully razzed me for my tendency to identify the voyeur with the artist and the ending blew my mind. Q. apparently wrote a huge book on literary madmen that hasn't been published in English : there's one for the "to-read" shelf.

    19. For those of you don’t know him, let me introduce you. This is Raymond Queneau:Rest assured, behind those Harry Potter glasses lurks the mind of a polymath. Not only an excellent mathematician, poet and literary critic, he was also (probably most importantly) a wizard of words. On top of all that, he was the co-founder and president of the Oulipo (ouvroir de littérature potentiell); roughly translated as the “workshop of potential literature”.The Oulipo, if you aren’t familiar with them [...]

    20. Le Chiendent, or Witch Grass is an extremely difficult book to read in translation. From what I can tell, Queneau’s style in French was purposefully disorienting—constant use of pronouns before names, unattributed dialogue, ambiguous names, etc.—but brought out of French it becomes even more obfuscating. Even in the first chapter I was wishing for the French version as well to try and figure out if certain things were meant to be puns in the original French, and whether other things were p [...]

    21. Sometimes one badly wants to like an author because a person one respects has recommended him so enthusiastically. Such is the case with Raymond Queneau, about whom a brilliant friend has written a book. Perhaps this particular Queneau novel, his first, is not the right place to start. I found it engaging for the first twenty or so pages, as we encounter a "flat" character who really is flat (but slowly begins to take on three-dimensionality!), and for the final twenty or so pages wherein France [...]

    22. I really enjoyed Zazie in the Metro and what Mr. Queneau does with language. He's so playful and funny, but this particular story left something to be desired. A young bartender is coaxed into marrying an elderly packrat, who owns a junk store, because her mother believes he has a secret fortune. There are some other side stories involving young men and estranged relationships with their families. Overall, the narrative wasn't very cohesive and I found myself being drawn out. I still would like [...]

    23. This is a difficult one to sum up. The novel isn't a part of any one genre, but shifts registers in interesting ways. Veers from philosophy to brothels to weddings to Duck Soup in a light way. While reading it, I assumed it was written in the '50s and was surprised to see that it was actually 1933. Definitely a pre-cursor to post WWII French fiction and something I recommend. Give the book at least 50 pages, since the beginning is a little hard to get into straightaway.

    24. wow. never read anything quite like this. i'm definitely going to pick up more of his works. the translator is a genius. or else she rewrote the entire book:"Q. What's the difference between an asthmatic pork-butcher and a party given by intellectuals?A. One's all chine and wheeze and the other's all wine and cheese."huh?

    25. 4.36 starsWhat a curious book. Swirling currents of tragicomedy and word play. About the accidents, incidents, and misconceptions that send us careening suddenly at odd angles and onto different trajectories. I'm not sure it quite got to where it's going, or if it just wanted to make a mess of things.

    26. I bought this first based only Evan Dara's name-drop in "The Lost Scrapbook." Still havent read it, but I *have* read "Zazie in the Metro". I was enjoyed that until the bizarre endingybe someday I'll give Witchgrass a shot.

    27. C'était long et laborieux. Il a écrit ce livre pour lui, pas pour les lecteurs. Après ya plein de passages où tu sens qu'il s'est éclaté quand il a écrit ça mais ça en fait pas un bon bouquin, hein. Ni un mauvais d'ailleurs. Ca donne envie de lire d'autres textes de lui mais pas 400 pages quoi

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