Thursday, January 19, 2012


When your town is suddenly covered in snow and the city budget cannot afford snow trucks and salt to clear the streets, the result is that, being stuck indoor, whether that is home or your workplace, you start digging. You dig the kitchen cup boards, you dig into the never before explored bottom of your wardrobe , you dig under the sofa, and if you are a bookworm, you inevitably dig into your bookshelves and rediscover long lost treasures along with that sock you thought forever gone.
I read Queneau, Exercices de style, in college and remember nothing of it except for ,maybe, that it is a SUPERBE exercise of translating images into thoughts and then into words.
Anyway, the copy I digged out of the French Language section has a lovely dedication worth sharing ( first in its original language and then humbly and clumsily translated by me):

Peut-etre idiot quelque fois (oops!)
ou bien tout simplement ginial,
Ce livre est une fantaisie.
Prends-le, ouvre-le et lis-le
dans le sens que tu voudras,
comme-ca, au hasard de te
propre fantaisie
to my friend Jen
with love
France: november 25, 86.

Maybe idiotic at times (oops!)
or rather simply ingenious,
this book is a fantasy.
Take it, open it and read it
in the way that you want,
like this, at the whim of your own imagination
to my friend Jen
with love
France: november 25, 86

And after the digging always comes the reading



  1. “ Mi pareva che tutto intorno fosse brumoso e biancastro tra presenze multiple e indistinte…”

    Curioso come l’incipit di uno dei novantanove esercizi di stile di Queneau sembri evocare il ricamo d’un paesaggio sotto la neve.
    Si sposa alla perfezione con l’immagine dei gerani sofferenti nella morsa del gelo.
    Mi verrebbe da dire, alla Queneau, che nella raffigurazione del " Sogno " hai compiuto il centesimo esercizio di stile.

    Prends-le dans le sens que tu voudras, chérie.
    Turin : janvier 20, 12.

  2. merci Monsieur Easy Runner vous avez recu l'idee perfectement!

  3. ... and now, it seems they're covered with snow also in your "other" homeland!

  4. Grazie a Voi, gentile libraia.
    Per aver sottratto lo scrigno letterario alla profondità del mare e aver riportato alla luce i gioielli in esso contenuti.
    Un post tutto bianco di neve e di buon augurio nel cammino verso Primavera.
    Del resto, lo sanno anche i gerani che:

    "Sotto la neve il pane, sotto la pioggia fame".

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