Pierrot Mon Ami

Barbara Wright, Translator, Raymond Queneau, Author Dalkey Archive Press $20 (160p) ISBN 978-0-916583-24-8
Originally published in France in 1942 and in England in 1950, this novel's pared down, often vulgar language is supplemented by highly inventive word plays and snippets of philosophy. Pierrot is a Chaplinesque figure who works at a series of marginal jobs for an amusement park. He competes with his friend Paradis for the affections of the owner Pradonet's daughter and finds himself on the fringes of a running battle between Pradonet and his nemesis, Monsieur Mounnezergues, the guardian of the tomb of a Poldevian prince located just outside the amusement park. When Uni Park mysteriously burns down, all the characters find their lives disruptedexcept for Pierrot, who continues to muddle along as usual. A highly stylized novel, in spite of its random plotting, Pierrot never had the critical and popular success of the later Zazie. Queneau has long been considered by the French to be a writer of ingenuity, wit and singular intelligence. His works, possibly because of their special Gallic sensibility, have not received the same attention abroad. (March)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1989
Release date: 09/01/1989
Genre: Fiction
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