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The Last Days [Paperback]

Raymond Queneau
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 11.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

Aug. 1 1991 French Literature Series

The Last Days is Raymond Queneau's autobiographical novel of Parisian student life in the 1920s: Vincent Tuquedenne tries to reconcile his love for reading with the sterility of studying as he hopes to study his way out of the petite bourgeoisie to which he belongs.

Vincent and his generation are contrasted with an older generation of retired teachers and petty crooks, and both generations come under the bemused gaze of the waiter Alfred, whose infallible method of predicting the future mocks prevailing scientific models. Similarly, Queneau's literary universe operates under its own laws, joining rigorous artistry with a warm evocation of the last days of a bygone world.


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From Publishers Weekly

Parisian student life in the 1920s and Queneau's own intellectual maturation (he was a founding member of Oulipo) inspired this tale of three adults facing old age, three students doomed to military service and one philosopher/waiter central to their six destinies. PW called this "beguiling. . . . Queneau's literary infractions . . . are not for the sake of novelty but for the sake of the novel."
Copyright 1991 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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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
By A Customer
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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5.0 out of 5 stars The Last Days by Raymond Queneau May 2 1998
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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Last Days by Raymond Queneau May 1 1998
By Library Avenger - 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
5.0 out of 5 stars 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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