Boris Vian discussion

Boris Vian's "Foam of the Daze" (L'écume des jours)

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message 1: by Tosh (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:05PM) (new)

Tosh | 47 comments Mod
L'Ecume des jours (Foam of the Daze) is a jazz fueled Science Fiction story that is both romantic and nihilistic! Vian's novel is an assortment of bittersweet romance, absurdity and the frailty of life. Foam of the Daze is a nimble-fingered masterpiece that is both witty and incredibly moving. It is a story of a wealthy young man Colin and the love of his life Chloe, who develops a water lily in her lung.

The supporting cast includes Chick, an obsessive collector of noted philosopher Jean-Sol Partre's books and stained pants, and Nicolas who is a combination of P.G. Wodehouse's fictional butler Jeeves and the Green Hornet's Kato. The soul of the book is about the nature of life disappearing and loving things intensely as if one was making love on a live grenade!

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message 2: by Tosh (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:05PM) (new)

Tosh | 47 comments Mod
This is a really remarkable novel is so many ways. It wasn't popular when Vian was still alive (he died in 1959). The only novel of his that was a commercial success was "I Spit on Your Graves," and of couse it was a book that started his 'career' and eventually killed him (he died during a screening of the film version).

Nevertheless "Foam of the Daze" became popular with young people during the Uprising May '68 in France. It was rediscovered at that point and ever since then it has become a classic youth text for Europeans and other parts of the world.

Lots of thngs are happening in this novel. On one level it is about young people who have to grow (ugh in Vian's terms), deal with sickness (super ugh in Vian terms), and deal with work, govt. and church (super duper ugh in Vian terms).

It's a fantasy dealing with things that are quite real. I would think people in their 20's would go ga-ga over the book - because you are basically a teenager who can legally get drunk! Ha ha, just joking! Sort of!

The book is also has a ton of music stuff in it as well. The back of the book has endnotes that deals with the issue of music, culture, Vian's life, and cultural stuff.

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