Zazie by Queneau, Raymond


Queneau, Raymond

Six English editions of Zazie dans le metro, first published in France in 1959 and the author's first commercially popular novel. Two translations here: the first English language by Akbar del Piombo [possibly Norman Rubington] and Eric Kahane, published in France, with illustrations by Jacqueline Duheme; the five other editions are all Barbara Wright's translation. All are titled Zazie, except for the later Calder reprint which returns to the original title and reproduces an image of Catherine Demongeot from the movie version for the cover. The other five editions struggle with the image of Zazie, the existence of the movie version notwithstanding, and move between pen and ink, watercolour and photographs to capture something of her sexuality, Frenchness, age and precociousness; their taglines all agree that she is French, 'A burlesque stream of Parisian perversion, our era's Alice in Wonderland', 'Exactly what foreigners think French novels ought to be'. Queneau is concerned with some of these issues but also with the combination of styles, register and classes of language, or “Doukipudonktan”, which begins the novel in French is translated here as “Holifart watastink” and “Howcanaystinksotho”.

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Publisher: Olympia Press, Harper and Brothers, The Bodley Head, Bantam, Corgi, John Calder. Combination of first editions and reprints. 1959-1982
All six copies have some edgewear and are tanned around the extremities, the American first hardcover has a piece missing from the top of the front panel and is a review copy with a b&w photograph of the cover image of Zazie laid in; overall all about very good. The six copies

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