exercises, they all do tell the same story about a minor brawl in a bus, and . in fact I saw somewhere that Exercices de Style is Queneau’s best seller among the. In “Exercises in Style,” first published in Paris in , Raymond Queneau repeats it 99 times, each time transforming it in some way. The first. Exercises in Style has ratings and reviews. Manny said: MetaFrom what point of view should I review the book? Evidently: from all possible po.

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Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau. The plot of Exercises in Style is quite simple: However, this anecdote is told ninety-nine more times, each in a radically different style, as a sonnet, an opera, in slang, and with many more permutations. This virtuoso set of variations is a linguistic rust-remover, and a guide to literary forms.

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Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau

To ask other readers questions about Exercises in Styleplease sign up. Does it come in any other covers other than whatever nonsense is supposed to be going on there?

See 1 question about Exercises in Style…. Lists with This Book. Meta From what point of view should I review the book? Snobbish Needless to say, I am reading the original French edition. I can hardly believe that his delicate linguistic irony would survive translation into English.

Vulgar I laughed until I wet myself. Well, I should know better than to read this kind of book in the bathroom. Pedantic If nothing else, very educational.

I have already learned the names of two figures of speech I didn’t prev Meta From what point of view should I review the book? I have already learned the names of two figures of speech I didn’t previously know.

Let me check the reviews. Oh, thank GoodReads, they haven’t! Pessimistic The idea is certainly amusing at first. But I doubt he’ll be able to keep it up for 99 different versions. I’m not even up to double figures, and I’m already running out of ideas.

He was a smart guy. Conscience-stricken I’m doing this? I should be working! But he is quite inspiring. Practical I will put the book on the coffee table, and read a couple of pages every now and then. I don’t think you’re meant to go cover-to-cover. Also, living in Cambridge as we do, I am sure that at least half our visitors will enjoy leafing through it. View all 44 comments. Nov 15, Steven Godin rated it really liked it Shelves: Whenever I climb into a taxi, it’s just in the hope that the driver isn’t some knife wielding maniac.


The next time I happen to hop onto a bus, then there is every chance, Exercises in Style will immediately come to mind. Not 99 times though, just the once. Briefly tied in with the French Surrealist movement before breaking away, Raymond Queneau presents an incident on a bus between two passengers, where one accuses the other of stepping on his toes. After an exchange of words, the young man moves to another seat.

Then later that same day, he is seen standing at a train station, where a friend is advising him to adjust one of the buttons on his overcoat. And that’s pretty much it. Literally nothing else happens. And by the end of the first page you have learned everything you are going to know about the events on which the book focuses.

But what follows, is the same incident played over and over and over again. Ninety-nine times to be exact. Xeercises different ways, told in different voices, different styles, and different points of view.

It’s like being trapped by a comic peerless prankster writing and rewriting and rewriting.

Exercises in Style

But here’s the thing – it was such a joy to read!. The laughably and ingeniously simple premise results in one of twentieth century fiction’s best show-off acts. Each section has exeecises utilitarian title – Hesitation, precision, Ignorance, Insistence, Awkward, Reactionary, to name a few. The core story could even have been something Queneau himself witnessed, and wrote about it simply because essentially it’s of little or no importance.

But it’s a random anecdote that holds many ideas behind it. What’s great is Queneau actually manages to transcend his own absurd restrictions by remaining punctiliously within each piece, at all faymond.

The book somehow, and I don’t know how, contrives to feel kind of profound even though it appears at first to be pointless. One is left thinking by the end, of the endless possibilities that any simple exerckses could be told.

Exercises in Style has an effect on the reader that really opens the mind. It illuminates the reality of multiple perspectives from which everything can be exercisse. The best way to read this I found it helped anyway is in as little time as possible, otherwise it’s pleasures start to thin out.

It went down a treat for me accompanied by a few beers!. View all 16 comments. Jun 09, Geoff rated it it was amazing Shelves: That Joyce was kind enough, generous enough, to create a work so complex, that resonates on so many levels and in so many poetic and humorous and satiric and intellectual and dramatic tones; and most exetcises all, best of allthat he demands that his reader work a fraction as hard as he did.

Because he knew that what he possessed inside himself, if expressed correctly, was capable of bringing a shimmer of aesthetic recognition across the imagination unlike anything that had come before or after. There really is only literature before- and after-Joyce, no matter your opinions on Ulysses itself.


It is the Theory of Relativity for the arts. It destroyed and absorbed everything that came before it and influenced everything that came after. His reckoning with Joyce came after his graduation from the Sorbonne with a degree in philosophy and mathematics, where one of his great influences was Hegel. The particulars of the universe are always coming into being by a process through which they are in a contradictory communication with what they relate to, come into contact with.

I assure you all this babble is leading to something. That is to say it necessarily begins anew.

So what does an extremely intelligent human being interested in writing literature after the reckoning with Joyce do? Joyce himself had no recourse but, after annihilating the novel, to annihilate language itself that is, create it anew with Finnegans Wake. But what do the rest of us do? We look at literature with new eyes, we look for where it can go now. I think that is exactly the point Queneau was making with Exercises In Style.

It exerciess an observation and notation of what exactly language can do with fiction post-Joyce. Beckett did this too. Many people did this, are doing this. stylee

This is what postmodernism is all exercjses, coming to terms with Joyce. However, in contrast to Beckett, Queneau’s profundities are always masked in the language of the quotidian, the everyday, the comedic, the banal.

An utterly banal scene is recounted 99 times, in 99 styles. Sryle these 99 recitations of the same scene we begin finally to focus on the medium and not the message, or the Hegelian contradiction or dialogue between the medium and the message or lack of message. In some ways, the really revolutionary aspect of Exercises In Style is that it is so not revolutionary- it retells a scene that any of us might observe on any given day- but that it poses questions about the fundamentals of our reading experience, and therefore our living experience.

View all 42 comments. Were rayjond meant to raymlnd chapters? Must have nothing better to do with herhis life. Not like some of us. But you know, writers have this metathing going on these days, you know. Just have to show their practice forms, you know, can’t be satisfied with just writing a book, oh no, they have to show their working, you know.

We used to do that in school. For maths, you know. Run the logic past again, will you?