Queneau, Raymond (rāmôNˈ kĕnōˈ) [key], 1903–76, French author and critic. He was an advocate of surrealism during the middle and late 1920s. Queneau is best known for his manipulations of style and language and his use of street slang in literary works. He often parodied traditional literary forms, as in his pastiche Exercices de style (1947). His novels include Le Chiendent (1933; tr. The Bark Tree, 1968), Les Enfants du Limon (1938; tr. Children of Clay, 1998), Un Rude Hiver (1940; tr. A Hard Winter, 1948), Pierrot, mon ami (1943), Le Dimanche de la vie [the Sunday of life] (1952), and the comic best seller Zazie dans le Métro (1959; tr. Zazie, 1960). He also wrote a great deal of poetry (see his Selected Poems, tr. 1970), and many of his novels contain extended verse passages.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.