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I fiori blu

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  2,252 ratings  ·  146 reviews
Un personaggio, il Duca d'Auge, che attraversa l'intero evo moderno, ricomparendo nel romanzo ogni 175 anni; un altro, Cidrolin, che negli anni Sessanta del XX secolo vive nella più totale inattività su un barcone ancorato nei pressi di Parigi; e poi due cavalli parlanti, Sten e Stef, e campeggiatori che si esprimono invece in una lingua inesistente, e alchimisti, e abati ...more
Hardcover, Novecento - I Romanzi Di Repubblica #59, 222 pages
Published February 19th 2003 by Gruppo Editoriale L'Espresso (first published May 26th 1965)
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Average rating 4.04  · 
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 ·  2,252 ratings  ·  146 reviews

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Vit Babenco
Jun 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Once upon a time, I, Chuang Chou, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was Chou. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man,” – Zhuangzi.
The novel The Blue Flowers consists of extensive exercises on the theme of this dream…
‘I often d
MJ Nicholls
Queneau’s novels and poetry have found their way into English and have been kept in print by a Reich of mostly American, and several British presses, among them Dalkey Archive, Atlas Press, NYRB Classics, Oneworld Classics, New Directions, Carcanet, Sun and Moon Press, University of Illinois Press, University of Nebraska Press, and Penguin Classics. There are (at last count) twenty books of Queneau’s work in English—a couple out-of-print or expensive—but largely all readily available for your re ...more
Nate D
I've been meaning to read more Queneau, but this mess of silly accents and bad puns (and single line asides in which a character kills 200 people) proves nearly unreadable to me. One of the back blurbs calls this "wacky", which should have been a warning sign right off. Set aside, not necessarily to resume.


Later: felt humorless and undermotivated, read a bunch more, found myself still unable to work up the proper level of caring required to continue. Queneau seems to have some interesting for
James Tingle
Oct 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

The Blue Flowers is one of Queneau's later books, and this work veers into slightly more surreal territory than some of his others, that I've so far read. In books like Zazie in the Metro and The Sunday of Life, you have that lovely peculiarity, that permeates the stories and gives everything a tinge of otherness, almost, but this book goes a bit further and delves into even more unusual realms.
There are two main characters, the Duke of Auge and Cidrolin, the former is from the thirteenth centur
Demetrios Dolios
5 star for a true pataphysician novel
Kyle Callahan
Feb 02, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: postmodernists, lovers of experimental fiction, francophiles
An interesting book that alternates between two main characters who may or may not be the same person and who may or may not be dreaming each other.

There isn't much in the way of plot, but you don't really read Queneau for plot. It's more for just the joy of the language. Now, supposedly this book is absolutely brilliant in the way Queneau uses the various aspects of the French language, intermingling high French and low French, but in the English translation, it doesn't seem like Barbara Wright
Brian James
Over the last several years, Raymond Queneau has been one of my favorite authors. After falling in love with the hilariously playful Zazie in the Metro, I began working my way through his catalog of books. His books are filled with laugh out loud wordplay, this one included, that are at the same time clever yet natural. However this book simply never grabbed me the way some of his others have. It's a very surrealist story about two characters in different times who are essentially the same chara ...more
Dec 17, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is just a load of fun. It has an incantatory quality as it moves forward, to the point that you can almost anticipate some of the repeated drolleries (the passers-by conversations, for instance, or Cidrolin's reaction to most meals, or the Duke's response to nearly any obstacle). I'm sure one can do all kinds of interesting philosophical work trying to parse this fairy tale but it seems churlish. Both Cidrolin and the Duke of Auge are terrific characters and their interpolated storylines ch ...more
Steven Clark
May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book when I was eighteen, and was delighted at Queneau's humor, wordplay, and farce as the Duke de Auge and Cidrolin interact and are a surrealistic Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. The story of tripping through 175 year intervals of French history is roaring good fun, and the Duke is a charming rascal. The book does run out of steam in the last few pages, but before that, it's really funny and a treasured part of my library.

Also, the Duke and Sthenes, his talking horse, have a strange
Jesse Bullington
I think if I had read this a few years ago before my sieve-like brain had lost some historical information I would have liked it more, but as it stands still a fun bit of surrealism. Wish you could give half stars, cause this deserves 3 1/2, says I. The first thing I've read by Queneau, a well-told and funny tale of a Rabelaisian Duke thrashing his way through history as a mid-sixties layabout drinks essence of fennel on his barge. It's one fucking fiasco after another as their worlds draw close ...more
Jan 25, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Apparently (from the little article at the end), this is one of Queneau's favorites of his own work. I found it a little bland compared to his other stuff. However, it was quite funny with lots of wordplay (as usual), though I think I might have missed a lot of the puns and jokes due to translation. Probably much more entertaining in French (the title, for example, is some idiom in France). Nevertheless, this is probably a good introduction to Queneau, and is quite entertaining. ...more
Not as delightful as his other books. Still, very clever and it really comes together at the end. Maybe it would have been better if I knew more about French history. Can't wait to get another one of his works. ...more
Andy Stallings
May 20, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Duke of Auge is a wonderful character, unstoppable really. I don't enjoy the verbal games as much as I'd like to, and the half of the novel given to Cidrolin takes a good while to get rolling. In fact, I don't care much for that bit until Lalix arrives. ...more
Apr 29, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Totally hilarious romp into the past the present the future dreams and wordplay! (not to mention ourselves...)

I found it very Calvinoesque, but not sure whether that's because the original is Calvinoesque or because Calvino put a lot of himself into the translation, or both.
Feb 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been on a Queneau bender the last week or so. This one wasn't my favorite compared to Zazie or Exercises in Style, but I did like the construct of Cidrolin/the one dreaming of the other (and which is which). ...more
Jan 27, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
Real life and dreamland come toghether in a game of words...
Jul 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a fun book worth reading...playing with history, metaphors...and sometimes with my mind...
Boris Gregoric
Dec 09, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Caveat: unfortunately tried to read this in translation as I could not trace the original.

As is the case with Queneau, he doesn't readily translate into English IMO.
Trinko Lleffe
Jan 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A really Masterpiece!
Feb 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
amazing, and surprising
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Genius, full of clever puns and memorable quotes. A lovely read. I definitely recommend it, especially Italo Calvino's excellent Italian translation. ...more
Sep 05, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
lots of zany ribald antics, if you're into that sort of thing ...more
Marcello La
Sep 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it! Immaginative, surreal, enchanting... pure genius.
Justin Enoch
Jan 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
first queneau / fun fuckin fiasco

between the passerby and the cave paintings, :)
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From my perspective it seems quite telling that Queneau's THE BLUE FLOWERS (the second last novel of a man who had already had a long and immodestly illustrious career), appeared within a year of Donald Barthelme's debut collection of stories (the sublimely titled COME BACK, DR. CALIGARI). We may wish to see Mr. Queneau, as so many others have, as a product of the surrealist movement of the 1920s, or as a writer in the tradition of Alfred Jarry (he is unquestionably at times a practitioner of 'p ...more
Jeff Buddle
I'll declare here that I'm partial to Queneau. I am on the fence about this little ditty, however. I dig the conceit, the blurring of lines between dream-life and waking-life.

I dig the mucking about with history. I think some of the wordplay -as translated by Barbara Wright- is remarkable (and funny). I even liked our hero, one Cidrolin (who consumes far too much of something called 'essence of fennel'). He seemed like an Ignatius P. Reilly character, someone more committed to his version of th
Nov 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Playful, allusive prose and interwoven (dream) narratives that span centuries mean that you’re never quite sure what is “real” in this surrealist novel. Which I suppose is probably the point. Never really grabbed me, however, and the near-constant puns really did start to grate after a while... Must have been a bear to translate.
Alfiero  Santarelli
Divertissement intellettuale.
Gary   Allen
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Highly recommend... and not just for the inspired word-play. If this sort of thing intrigues you, also check out "Exercises in Style." ...more
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Novelist, poet, and critic Raymond 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 ...more

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“I’ll pun him so many puns that even his arrogance will finally be expunged.” 3 likes
“L'instruction! Voyez ce que c'est, monsieur, que l'instruction. On apprend quelque chose à l'école, on se donne même du mal, beaucoup de mal, pour apprendre quelque chose à l'école, et puis vingt ans après, ou même avant, ce n'est plus ça, les choses ont changé, on ne sait plus rien, alors vraiment ce n'était pas la peine. Aussi je préfère penser qu'apprendre.” 1 likes
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