January 20, 2011

"Les Ziaux" by Raymond Queneau with an inscription to Maurice Blanchot

Les Ziaux is the second collection of poems published by Raymond Queneau in 1943 at Gallimard,  house edition he joined in 1938 first as a reader, translator and then a member of the reading committee. The book we offers is an issue reserved to press with a dedication to the writer Maurice Blanchot. The latter joined Gallimard through Jean Paulhan and he published his first novel in 1941, Thomas The Obscure, a dark and abstract text. Both authors have a fascination for literature, its mechanical and share a taste for philosophy. They also have a common friend, Michel Leiris. They both found themselves at Georges Bataille's place who gathered his contemporaries to feed thoughts for his college of sociology.

In Les Ziaux, the work of Queneau on phonemes and language wears a playful tone that is characteristic of his talent. "La Petite aube" becomes "la microaube" and "quand le soir meurt , la toute petîte crêpe... la crépuscule." Below, the poem that gives its name to the collection.  
les eaux bruns, les eaux noirs, les eaux de merveille
les eaux de mer, d'océan, les eaux d'étincelles
nuitent le jour, jurent la nuit
chants de dimanche à samedi 
les yeux vertes, les yeux bleues, les yeux de succelle
les yeux de passante au cours de la vie
les yeux noirs, yeux d'estanchelle
silencent les mots, ouatent le bruit 
eau de ces yeux penché sur tout miroir
gouttes secrets au bord des veilles
tout miroir, tout veille en ces ziaux bleues ou vertes
les ziaux bruns, les ziaux noirs, les ziaux de merveille
Currently, the librairie Loliée offers :
  • QUENEAU (Raymond). Les Ziaux. Paris, Gallimard, collection « Métamorphoses », 1943, in-8, olive green revorim binding signed by Jean de Gonet (8/200). First Edition. Issue reserved for the Press service on "châtaignier" paper, with a dedication from the author to  : à Maurice Blanchot / « Mais qui voit ? Qui entend ? Qui parle ? »  / amical hommage / Queneau. [to Maurice Blanchot / "But who sees? who hears ? Who speak ?" / friendly compliments /Queneau].