28 November, 2012

Pierrot by Raymond Queneau (1942)

This 1950 translation by the British novelist Julian MacLaren-Ross was a let down. You can't turn colloquial Parisian French into Cockney, complete with rhyming slang, without losing the essence of an author like Queneau. Beyond that, I found this to be a delightfully odd novel that is light, happy, even somewhat distracted at times. Pierrot is a young man hopelessly frustrated in work and love, and Queneau breezes his hero through some bizarre events that include fleeting elements of mystery and magic. A couple of coincidences toward the end are a bit hard to swallow though.