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Hitting the Streets

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About the Author

Raymond Queneau was born in Normandy in 1903 and studied at the Sorbonne before military service and a career working for the Gallimard publishing house. A novelist, philosopher, poet, mathematician and translator, he was a leading figure in twentieth-century French literary life, a prolific writer whose work touches on many of the major cultural movements of his time, from Surrealism to the experimental writing of the nouveau roman. In 1959 he published his best-known work, the novel Zazie dans le metro, which was a popular success both as a book and in the film adaptation by Louis Malle. In 1960 Queneau co-founded the 'Workshop for Potential Literature' or OuLiPo, a group of writers and scientists exploring the interactions between mathematics and literary forms.The group has included among its members Italo Calvino, Georges Perec and Harry Mathews, and still thrives today. Queneau died in 1976.


'Galvin's electrifying translation forms an exemplary point of departure for the rediscovery of Queneau's poetry.' --David Wheatley, Poetry Review 'I promise you'll love this. Especially if you love Paris.' --Nicholas Lezard, Guardian Paperback of the Week 'Rachel Galvin has met the challenge of Queneau's difficult language with extraordinary aplomb and agility, finding equivalents for the poet's elaborate puns, rhymes, double entendres, and neologisms, even as she keeps intact the colloquial suppleness and playful street slang of Queneau's poetry. Hitting the Streets is an enchanting book, guaranteed to make you smile in recognition.' --Marjorie Perloff 'This book changed Parisians' view of their city and fertilised French poetry as few others have. A book of daydreaming and flanerie, it's absolutely worth hitting the poems' pavement, getting the lay of its loopy land, and sailing away.' --Paul Fournel 'Galvin has caught the verve of the language while also retaining its sound-play - a remarkable achievement - resulting in a stunning book that brings both Paris and the cultural power of language into vivid focus.' --Cole Swensen

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