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By Raymond Queneau

Only a pataphysician nurtured lovingly on surrealist extra can have get a hold of The Blue plant life, Queneau's 1964 novel.

At his dying in 1976, Raymond Queneau used to be certainly one of France's most outstanding males of letters––novelist, poet, essayist, editor, scientist, mathematician, and, extra to the purpose, pataphysician. And just a pataphysician nurtured lovingly on surrealist extra can have get a hold of The Blue vegetation, Queneau's 1964 novel, now reissued as a brand new instructions Paperbook. To a pataphysician all issues are equivalent, there isn't any development or growth within the human , and a "message" is an invention of the benighted reader, under no circumstances the writer or his puzzling creations––the candy, fennel-drinking Cidrolin and the rampaging Duke d'Auge. historical past is generally what the duke rampages through––700 years of it at 175-year clips. He refuses to campaign, clobbers his king with the "in" toy of 1439––the cannon––dabbles in alchemy, and makes a decision that these musty caves down at Altamira want a little bit of sharpening up. in the meantime, Cidrolin within the Sixties lolls on his barge moored alongside the Seine, sips essence of fennel, and ineffectually attempts to capture the graffitist who nightly defiles his fence. yet normally he naps. Is it only a accident that the duke seems in simple terms whilst Cidrolin is sleeping? And vice versa? within the culture of Villon and Céline, Queneau tried to carry the language of the French streets into universal literary utilization, and his mad word-plays, undesirable puns, bawdy jokes, and anachronistic wackiness were stored amazingly and glitteringly intact by means of the incomparable translator Barbara Wright.

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Regrettably! ’ acknowledged the Duke. ‘I have basically my triplets, which, I guarantee you, is my move. ’ ‘Talking of crosses,’ stated the King, ‘I’m very happy to determine you. We’re getting ready a brand new campaign and we’re obviously relying on your becoming a member of us. ’ ‘Doesn’t entice me a lot. ’ ‘Ttt ttt. You mustn’t make your brain up until eventually you’ve heard the item intimately. within the first position, we will now not be going to Egypt this time (that will be an asserlute waste of time) yet we will set sail for Carthage. ’ ‘That has no larger charm for me. ’ ‘Carthage? Come come, my well-beloved Auge, no matter if just for its historical thoughts … Saint Augustine … Jugurtha … Scipio… Hannibal … Salammbô … don’t they suggest whatever to you? ’ ‘Nothing in any respect, Sire. Me now not be an highbrow. ’ ‘Ah Auge, my well-beloved Auge, you actually should include me to disembowel a few infidels. ’ ‘Nenni, Sire. This time I’ll have none of it. ’ ‘You not desire to discomfit the worshippers of Mahom? ’ ‘Look, Sire, i've got retired to my little fort within the kingdom, there i'm mentioning the daughters with which the nice Lord has bothered me, there I nurse, although with no sodewynge them, the marsh fevers I introduced again from Damietta and different far away colonies, that saintly guy my chaplain, the Abbé Onesiphore Biroton, is major me in the direction of the trails of sanctification, why, Sire, sure, why should still I depart my little province as a way to be introduced again to it the 12 months after salted in a pickling-jar? ’ The saintly King sighed. ‘In short,’ he stated, ‘you don’t are looking to move and cleave el Mostanser Billah in twain? ’ ‘Let him cleave himself in twain all bv himself, Sire, such is my final observe. ’ ‘Ah! i will see I’m going to have loads of hassle setting up this 8th campaign. ’ This made the great saint and King particularly unhappy. ‘Oh, come,’ stated the Duke of Auge, ‘you’ll continuously be capable to discover a reliable fourth a part of 100 nodcocks to accompany you to these far-off shorelines. ’ ‘Indeed i'm hoping so,’ acknowledged the King with depression. ‘May I take my go away? ’ The King gave his acord. As he used to be chickening out, the nook of the Duke’s face grew to become the recipient of a complete shipload of rotten eggs and withered tomatoes; the throng hearing the saintly King keeping forth lower than his oak tree thought of that the stated saintly King used to be displaying himself to be of culpable weak spot with regards to this cowardly vassal who hottest the relief of his little fort to the risks of a Christian day trip someplace round Bizerta; and this all of the extra as they themselves, borgeis, artisans or vileyns, ran now not the slightest danger of seeing themselves sent to what have been previously Cathaginian seashores there to undergo scimitar blows or capture unsodewable illnesses. ‘Boo, boo, the trollop,’ they cried, ‘oh the rotten chicken-heart, the shite-a-bed scoundrel, the porcine looby, the whoreson shirker, the awful patriot, the wicious wild-boar, the rotten ringworm, the brazen false-heart, the caitiff Paulician, the verminous Jemmy-Jessamy, the lily-livered mange-pot, the ord’rous poltroon, the false-hearted sneaksby who desires to depart the tomb of Lord Jesus within the arms of the pagans and who solutions his King again.

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