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Exercises in Style By Raymond Queneau Barbara Wright,

  • Title: Exercises in Style
  • Author: Raymond Queneau Barbara Wright
  • ISBN: 9780811220354
  • Page: 145
  • Format: Paperback
  • On a crowded bus at midday, Raymond Queneau observes one man accusing another of jostling him deliberately When a seat is vacated, the first man appropriates it Later, in another part of town, Queneau sees the man being advised by a friend to sew a new button on his overcoat.Exercises in Style Queneau s experimental masterpiece and a hallmark book of the Oulipo literarOn a crowded bus at midday, Raymond Queneau observes one man accusing another of jostling him deliberately When a seat is vacated, the first man appropriates it Later, in another part of town, Queneau sees the man being advised by a friend to sew a new button on his overcoat.Exercises in Style Queneau s experimental masterpiece and a hallmark book of the Oulipo literary group retells this unexceptional tale ninety nine times, employing the sonnet and the alexandrine, onomatopoeia and Cockney An Abusive chapter heartily deplores the events Opera English lends them grandeur Queneau once said that of all his books, this was the one he most wished to see translated He offered Barbara Wright his heartiest congratulations, adding I have always thought that nothing is untranslatable.Here is new proof To celebrate the 65th anniversary of the 1947 French publication of Exercises de Style, New Directions has asked several writers to contribute new exercises as a tribute Tantalizing examples include Jonathan Lethem s Cyberpunk, Harry Mathew s Phonetic Eros, and Frederic Tuten s Beatnik exercises This edition also retains Barbara Wright s original introduction and reminiscence of working on this book a translation that in 2008 was ranked first on the Author s Society s list of The 50 Outstanding Translations of the Last 50 Years.
    Exercises in Style On a crowded bus at midday Raymond Queneau observes one man accusing another of jostling him deliberately When a seat is vacated the first man appropriates it Later in another part of town Queneau

    One thought on “Exercises in Style”

    1. MetaFrom what point of view should I review the book Evidently from all possible points of view.SnobbishNeedless to say, I am reading the original French edition I can hardly believe that his delicate linguistic irony would survive translation into English Quelle horreur VulgarI laughed until I wet myself Well, I should know better than to read this kind of book in the bathroom.PedanticIf nothing else, very educational I have already learned the names of two figures of speech I didn t previously [...]

    2. On the platform, pla pla pla, of a bus, chuff chuff, chuff, which was an S and singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest , it was about noon, ding dang dong, ding dang dong, a ridiculous ephebus, poof, poof, who had one of those hats, pooh, suddenly turned twirl twirl , on his neighbour angrily, grrh, grrh, and said, hm hm You are purposely josling me, Sir, Ha ha Exercises in Style, Raymond QueneauOne very effective way I have found to squeeze the juice of wisdom from the books I read is [...]

    3. Only one book has ever changed my life god, if only things were so simple that a book could change your life and that is Joyce s Ulysses, and that only in terms of my ideas of dedication and rigor It certainly didn t unearth profound aspects of my personality that until that point were latent, it didn t give me any guiding path in life to tread, it didn t suddenly instill value into things that I before considered to be without value What it primarily did was to show me the results of dedication [...]

    4. UPDATE Queneau s Exercises in Style is given the Geoff Wilt treatment in Verbivoracious Festschrift Volume Three The Syllabus Who the fuck writes the same thing 99 times over Pretentious twit Don t bother A masterpiece of style, grammar, innovation, elegance, a tour de force of wizardry, erudition, humour and social commentary Chapeau M sieur Queneau I didn t really get the headings Were those meant to be chapters Mate, don t be late, address the great and adumbrate, there ll be a spate, the rul [...]

    5. This is a lot of fun at the beginning as you realise exactly what Queneau has challenged himself to do here rewrite the same little scene about a gangly young man in a badly fitting overcoat and an odd hat, in different styles, ninety nine times After number twenty however, the various word play games are no longer quite as funny After number forty, you re pretty sceptical about Queneau s mental health By number sixty, you re seriously worried about your own By number eighty, you re seeing that [...]

    6. Blurb view spoiler Exercises in Style retells an 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 rust remover, a guide to literary forms and a demonstration of imagery and inventiveness hide spoiler MJ Nicholls view spoiler I finally located my copy of this ingenuous little number in my attic and read it through [...]

    7. Pearls before a swine Perhaps.It definitely takes a lot of talent for someone to tell one completely unremarkable story 99 times and still make a fun and readable book out of it What Queneau and the translator has done here is really clever work, no doubt And I can imagine this whole exercise must have been very amusing for him But that doesn t mean reading it will be just as enjoyable as writing it was These are exercises in writing in English originally French I do have some working knowledge [...]

    8. I feel like this book s high average rating is caused mostly by the fact that the only people who would even know about it are the sort of people who d like it So, though I didn t hate it completely, I m here to offer a dissenting opinion This book kind of sucks It s a short, anticlimactic anecdote about a scuffle on a bus, told in 99 different styles I imagine this is already enough to turn off most people, but in case this still sounds really good to you, be apprised that none of those styles [...]

    9. reread 09 13 15 The English translation better be good, because this This is brilliant Il y avait aujourd hui dans l autobus c t de moi, sur la plate forme, un de ces morveux comme on n en fait gu re, heureusement, sans a je finirais par en tuer un PS I would love to write my review as Raymond Queneau, that is to say, using several literacy techniques to relate the same story over and over and over again, but let s face it my English needs improvement before.

    10. The premise of this book is simple a little anecdote about a man on a bus, a story so bland that you wouldn t even put it into your cycle of small talk This book is not bland because the execution is dazzling Queneau tells the same story in over a hundred different ways, ranging from Operatic English to Tanka to onomatopoeia to set theory to high art to Cockney slang.Such a book would normally be untranslatable, and there are some noticeable changes from the original Cockney slang is a substitut [...]

    11. So, as it turns out, I ve read the book in 8th grade, and found it so awesome, that I wrote down in my diary some of the story renderings.This time around, not so much Eventually, I grew tired and I didn t really finish the book But I suppose that s the sad fate of re reading old favorites Loved the illustrations though

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    13. What story can be told about a brief bus ride and a button It can be turned into a surreal vision In the centre of the day, tossed among the shoal of travelling sardines in a coleopter with a big white carapace, a chicken with a long, feather less neck suddenly harangued one, a peace abiding one, of their number, and its parlance, moist with protest, was unfolded upon the airs Then, attracted by a void, the fledgling precipitated itself thereunto.In a bleak, urban desert, I saw it again that sel [...]

    14. Esercizi di stile, sono appunto 99 esercizi che l autore ha fatto per la stesura di un libro Qui, nello specifico, l esempio che fa su una semplice situazione quotidiana che pu succedere a chiunqueDi certo un libro adatto agli addetti ai lavori, cio scrittori, giornalisti, ecc direi che questo libretto sia molto prezioso soprattutto per gli scrittori esordienti o per chi sia in crisi creativa.A me, che non sono un addetto ai lavori, risultato a tratti divertente, a tratti disorientante soprattut [...]

    15. Le c t subjectifI liked my time with this book When I did not know a rhetoric form Raymond referred to which was often , I looked it up on the internet and tried to figure out how it related to the specific style of the exercise in question When I got to the abstruse linguistic games, I started wondering how these could ever be translated into other languages, so I bought the English and German versions of the book and played my own game of contrast and compare And when I finished the book, I s [...]

    16. I think this is a book that should be read in its original language of French I loved the idea of this book, but my expectations were perhaps a little too high The low rating is not the book s fault, but my goddamn own excuse my lack of French 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 [...]

    17. On Exercices de Style, considered his masterpiece and most influential work, Raymond Queneau said, People have tried to see it as an attempt to demolish literature that was not at all my intention In any case my intention was merely to produce some exercises the finished product may possibly act as a kind of rust remover to literature to help to rid it of some of its scabs If I ve been able to contribute a little to this, then I am very proud, especially if I have done it without boring the read [...]

    18. What makes a good story Plot, characters or structure Maybe the stories we enjoy aren t enjoyable because of its components, maybe they are enjoyable because of the way they were written or told A good narrator is incredibly important to catch our attention and interest as long as the story lasts, otherwise there is a chance of being misled or left disheartened What Raymond Queneau brings you in Exercises in Style is a set of 99 narrators each equally amusing, entertaining and knowledgeable In a [...]

    19. ThoughtfulMy reaction to books like Raymond Queneau s Exercises In Style is comparable to my reaction when faced with certain works of conceptual, or modern, art, such as, for example, Martin Kippenberger s Wittgenstein What I mean by this is that the enjoyment I derive from them is superficial, is immediate but not long lasting in fact, I tend to find equal or greater enjoyment in the concepts or ideas being described to me as I do in experiencing them myself.To my mind, the most basic pre requ [...]

    20. Edit May 13 2011 I finally bought a copy of this ingenious little number and read it through again I think my favourite mode has to be Reactionary, where the narrator makes angry pronouncements on the world around him while telling the bus altercation story It wasn t as funny the second time around, but nothing ever is, sadly I looked up some of the specific verse forms that escaped me on the first read and smiled knowingly A knowing smile involves greater purchase on the lip corners There is [...]

    21. This was The Well Tempered Clavier, but in writing Given its status and how loved this book seems to be on GR, I feel somewhat like it s an epic F.A.I.L on my part to not have been blown away by it But seriously, guys, I don t get it It s clever, I ll give you that Other than that, it s mostly gimmicky, sometimes amusing, and occasionally interesting I liked the episodes rewritten as told by a yokel or in mangled French as spoken by an English person amusing , as well as the episodes rewritten a [...]

    22. This shames me to say but I was not originally on the bus with Queneau s Exercises in Style, yet I pretended to be, sitting right beside the dude with the long neck and the eccentric hat I was not being myself, not beating my own drum, passengers stepping all over my feet, but I could not get off the bus Shamed if I did, shamed if I didn t So I sat there reading his proper novels, genuinely enjoying them as the bus jostled and my feet hurt and the long neck irked me Damn sheepish passengers I th [...]

    23. A million points for creativity, I ll give it that A short, two paragraph vignette repeated 99 times, but each in a different style really illustrates the protean and fun nature of language There have been quite a few books that have caused me while reading to think If I ever teach a creative writing class, I ve got to use this Well this book actually coerced me into creating a new shelf to assign in creative writing class Happy New Year Will it be a Happy New Year Miserable Old Days Appyhay Ewn [...]

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    25. This is an interesting study in voice If you re struggling to understand the impact voice can have on a story, or if you want some assistance giving your narrator a different flavor, this book has a variety of useful examples.

    26. So pleased by the number of writing styles featured here I could have never noticed the different styles Some of my favorites were the subjective side, word composition, distinguo, free verse, definitional, lipogram omitted the e , and epistolary From distinguo In an S bus which is not to be confused with a trespass , I saw not an eyesore a chap not a Bath one wearing a dark soft hat and not a hat daft sack , which hat was encircled by a plaited cord and not by an applauded cat He was talking to [...]

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