Monday, August 3, 2009

Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau

Exercises in Style was my first introduction to the works of Raymond Queneau, author of Zazie in the Metro and Odile, among others (those are just the ones I've read, at least). It is one very short and not so interesting story, written 99 different ways. Not only is it a lesson in the countless ways one can convey a story, but it is a fun read (honest!) and often quite hilarious. Maybe you have to be a language lover to appreciate it but even now, just browsing through I find myself chuckling a bit.

I love the whimsical lettering that appears throughout the book.

This is the first version, and I suppose the most basic form of storytelling--just stating the facts.

I love this one.

As an employee of a publishing house, this one quite amuses me.

Some of them are decidedly unliterary.

And some of them get a little crazy.

After reading the book my class was assigned to take a very short story that we'd written and re-write it in three of the variations found in the book. One of the ones that I chose was pig latin, and I still remember the only comment the teacher wrote on it: "Insane."

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