Exercises in Style: 65th Anniversary Edition

On a crowded bus at midday, Raymond Queneau observes one man accusing another of jostling him deliberately. When a seat is vacated, the first man appropriates it. Later, in another part of town, Queneau sees the man being advised by a friend to sew a new button on his overcoat. Exercises in Style, Queneu’s experimental masterpiece and a hallmark book of the OULIPO literary group, retells this unexceptional tale in ninety-nine exceptional ways, employing writing styles such as the sonnet and the alexandrine, onomatopoeia and even Cockney.…
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Miss Lonelyhearts & The Day of the Locust

Fiction by Nathanael West

With a contribution by Jonathan Lethem

Miss Lonelyhearts — compared by Flannery O’Connor to Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying — is about a newspaper reporter assigned to write the agony column, but, caught up in a vision of suffering, he seeks a way out (through art, sex, religion), only to be rebuffed at every turn by his cynical editor Shrike. The Day of the Locust — considered by many to be the best novel ever written about Hollywood — is about Tod Hackett, who hopes for a career in set design only to discover the boredom and emptiness of Hollywood’s inhabitants.…
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