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The Last Days Paperback – Aug 1 1991


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press (Aug. 1 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1564781402
  • ISBN-13: 978-1564781406
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 13.9 x 1.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,408,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

To tell the tale of his intellectual coming-of-age, Queneau calls on not one character but seven. Three are adults: a petty con man who has just found ambition, a portly geography teacher who has just found guilt, and a weak-willed publisher of art books. Three are students: the young Queneau, a smug student of philo(sophie) gene(rale) and a third character-slot filled alternately by a long-haired spiritist and a chiseling pre-med. The generations are joined by a common rush towards doom (military service for the students, death for their elders), Alfred, the philosopher cum waiter who is at the eye of these hurtling destinies, and by Queneau's beguiling language--and Wright's equally beguiling translation. In this world, the verb "subyelped" has validity, a weekly ledger has descriptive power and a conversation between a student and his notebook has rationale. Queneau's (1903-1976) literary infractions, unlike those of many other writers of his era, are not for the sake of novelty but for the sake of the novel. According to the introduction, this picture of Parisian student life in the 1920s was written a decade later and published in 1936.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Among the last of Queneau's major works to be translated into English, this highly stylized novel draws upon the author's intimate journal (1920-28) for many details. Like the novel's main character, Queneau went to Paris from Normandy to study philosophy in 1920. This is, however, more than an autobiographical journey through Parisian student life in the 1920s. It is an artfully crafted literary mosaic of oppositions and similarities (of characters, descriptions, attitudes, and perceptions) that emphasize the literary quality of this work. The finality evoked in the title is rich in potential for intepretation, as is the work itself. The use of puns and neologisms, as well as other stylistic and rhetorical devices characteristic of Queneau's work, have come to be recognized as uniquely his.
- Anthony Caprio, Oglethorpe Univ., Atlanta, Ga.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
This novel (Queneau's second after "Le Chiendent" translated as 'the Bark Tree' by Barbara Wright) is a charming, witty novel about the travails of several French students preparing for their "bacheau" admirably cointerpointed with a secondary story of a petty swindler and a tertiary story of a waiter who comfabulates a fantastic betting schema based on the movements of the lunary planets and their shifts and motion. The deft translation gives the full flavor of the novel, and Queneau's writing is superbly sunny and wonderful. This is a must read for all those interested in the development of the French novel c. 1930-s to 1940-s. It's quite funny!
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Format: Paperback
Sad and funny and beautiful, Queneau watches the world and portrays the smallest of things in the most unique way. Celebrating the simpleton, Queneau looks back at his student years. His head is stuck in books. He meets few friends. Outside, the world swindles and connives and lies and quips. Outsiders take note, this book settles long after the last page is turned. A special, special book. A great introduction to the world of Queneau.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
The Last Days by Raymond Queneau May 1 1998
By logician k - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This novel (Queneau's second after "Le Chiendent" translated as 'the Bark Tree' by Barbara Wright) is a charming, witty novel about the travails of several French students preparing for their "bacheau" admirably cointerpointed with a secondary story of a petty swindler and a tertiary story of a waiter who comfabulates a fantastic betting schema based on the movements of the lunary planets and their shifts and motion. The deft translation gives the full flavor of the novel, and Queneau's writing is superbly sunny and wonderful. This is a must read for all those interested in the development of the French novel c. 1930-s to 1940-s. It's quite funny!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Sad and lonely boy wanders/wonders through college Sept. 1 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Sad and funny and beautiful, Queneau watches the world and portrays the smallest of things in the most unique way. Celebrating the simpleton, Queneau looks back at his student years. His head is stuck in books. He meets few friends. Outside, the world swindles and connives and lies and quips. Outsiders take note, this book settles long after the last page is turned. A special, special book. A great introduction to the world of Queneau.

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