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Blues for a Black Cat and Other Stories

Blues for a Black Cat and Other Stories

Paperback French Modernist Library Series

By (author) Boris Vian, Translated by Julia Older, Edited by Julia Older, Foreword by Louis Malle

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  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Format: Paperback | 144 pages
  • Dimensions: 127mm x 198mm x 10mm | 159g
  • Publication date: 1 April 2001
  • Publication City/Country: Lincoln
  • ISBN 10: 0803296096
  • ISBN 13: 9780803296091
  • Edition: New edition
  • Edition statement: New edition
  • Illustrations note: 6ill.
  • Sales rank: 241,509

Product description

"[This collection] displays Vian's range from gallows humor to verbal fireworks, and happily serves to give visibility to this important writer."- Publishers Weekly. "Ultimately, Blues for a Black Cat is a collection of moral fables, albeit fables told in a cynical, mocking voice and set in a skewed version of the real world. Under the surface absurdity and verbal play, they offer serious indictments of human weakness and pretensions. Further, they reveal the spiritual emptiness just beneath our civilized facade. Vian's blues are not only for a black cat, but for a society without meaning."- Manoa. "[Blues for a Black Cat] brings back the nimble Vian in a collection of his short fiction, initially published as Les Fourmis in 1949. The work has the unmistakable flavor of the time and place, Claude Abadie's jazz band, the coded and absurdist messages of rebellion, the wistful fables, verbal riffs and goofy anarchic encounters; the mise-en-scene includes an expiring jazzman who sells his sweat, a cat with a British accent and a piano that mixes a cocktail when "Mood Indigo" is played."-Boston Globe. Boris Vian (1920-59), a trained engineer and jazz trumpet player, was a major literary figure in World War II France. Julia Older is the author or editor of many works. Her stories, translations, and poems have appeared in New Directions, the New Yorker, and many other journals.

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Author information

Boris Vian (1920-59), a trained engineer and jazz trumpet player, was a major literary figure in World War II France. Julia Older is the author or editor of many works. Her stories, translations, and poems have appeared in "New Directions," the "New Yorker," and many other journals.

Review quote

"[This collection] displays Vian's range from gallows humor to verbal fireworks, and happily serves to give visibility to this important writer."-- Publishers Weekly. "Ultimately, Blues for a Black Cat is a collection of moral fables, albeit fables told in a cynical, mocking voice and set in a skewed version of the real world. Under the surface absurdity and verbal play, they offer serious indictments of human weakness and pretensions. Further, they reveal the spiritual emptiness just beneath our civilized facade. Vian's blues are not only for a black cat, but for a society without meaning."-- Manoa. "[Blues for a Black Cat] brings back the nimble Vian in a collection of his short fiction, initially published as Les Fourmis in 1949. The work has the unmistakable flavor of the time and place, Claude Abadie's jazz band, the coded and absurdist messages of rebellion, the wistful fables, verbal riffs and goofy anarchic encounters; the mise-en-scene includes an expiring jazzman who sells his sweat, a cat with a British accent and a piano that mixes a cocktail when "Mood Indigo" is played."--The Boston Globe.