Sunday of Life
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Sunday of Life

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  124 ratings  ·  8 reviews
The Sunday of Life, the late Raymond Queneau's tenth novel, was first published in French by Gallimard in 1951 and is now appearing for the first time in this country. In the ingenuous ex-Private Valentin Bru, the central figure in The Sunday of Life, Queneau has created that oddity in modern fiction, the Hegelian naif. Highly self-conscious yet reasonably satisfied with h...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published May 2002 by Calder Publications (first published 1952)
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Geoff
The Sunday of Life begins with two great epigraphs:
"The characters of this novel being real, any resemblance they may bear to imaginary individuals must be purely fortuitous."

"...it is the Sunday of life, which levels everything, and rejects everything bad; men gifted with such good humor cannot be fundamentally bad or base."-Hegel

Queneau's portrait of the good-humored "Hegelian naif" sees to both tasks, instilling real life catastrophe (life in Bordeaux and then in Paris during 1936-1940) with...more
MJ Nicholls
This, Queneau’s fourth last (or sixteenth) novel, preceding the blockbusting supersmash Zazie dans la metro, is standard fare from the OuLiPo founder and mathematical whizz. Valentin Brû is one of Queneau’s ‘everymen’ who takes up with a woman twice his age to help run a picture frame shop. As usual, there are zippy, tricky plots with characters flicking in and out, little comments on the act of writing and language games a-go-go. Somehow it didn’t take off for me like Pierrot or Witch Grass, pr...more
Brad
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Robert
There are many things that could be written about the French novelist, Raymond Queneu, who died in 1976, but that would detract from the things I want to write about The Sunday of Life.

The Sunday of Life is a silly, penetrating, witty novel about nothing much colliding with nothing much and yet retaining the reader's interest because the characters are so salty, impassive, greedy, envious, clever, and dotty.

A middle-aged woman sees a soldier pass her shop every day. The soldier, Valentin, is abo...more
Rand
Mar 15, 2013 Rand rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: VOUS
Book sat on my shelf for over ten years so I decided to give it a second chance, after giving up maybe eight years ago because it starts slow. Guess I started slow instead?

Book was funny when linguistic fuddy-duddies are referred to as "cunts" and there were other, more developed situations of funny business that I shan't spoil here.

My favorite part is the inscription (after the copyright page) which states that "The characters of this novel being real, any resemblance they may bear to imaginar...more
Gijs Grob
Lichtvoetige en blijmoedige roman over de simpele soldaat Valentin Brû, en zijn vrouw, de oude vrijster Julia, in een achtergrond van de naderende tweede wereldoorlog. De roman bevat enkele komische situaties, maar draait vooral om de gesprekken van simpele mensen, met veel fonetisch opgeschreven spreektaal. Jammergenoeg eindigt de roman nogal abrupt, wanneer de oorlog daadwerkelijk uitbreekt.
Nora Dillonovich
such fun. Queneau is rapidly becoming one of my favorites.
Lianna
more french stuff
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15957
Queneau was born in Le Havre in 1903 and went to Paris when he was 17. For some time he joined André Breton's Surrealist group, but after only a brief stint he dissociated himself. Now, seeing Queneau's work in retrospect, it seems inevitable. The Surrealists tried to achieve a sort of pure expression from the unconscious, without mediation of the author's self-aware "persona." Queneau's texts, on...more
More about Raymond Queneau...
Exercises in Style Zazie in the Metro The Blue Flowers Pierrot Mon Ami We Always Treat Women Too Well

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