Zazie in the Metro
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First English version
|Original title||Zazie dans le métro|
|Published||1959 (Gallimard) (French)
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
Provincial pre-teenager Zazie stays in Paris with her Uncle Gabriel (a female impersonator) for two days, while her mother spends some time with her lover. Zazie manages to evade her uncle's custody, and métro strike notwithstanding, sets out to explore the city on her own.
Zazie explores colloquial language as opposed to "standard" written French; Queneau referred to the language spoken by Zazie and the other characters as "neo-French". It is marked by colloquial diction and slang, by phonetic spelling, and by "the morpho-syntax typical of spoken French". For instance, the first word of the book, the neologism Doukipudonktan, is a phonetic transcription of D'où (est-ce) qu'il pue donc tant ? ("From where does he/do they stink so much?"). In the English version of the novel, this is rendered as "Holifart watastink"; in the movie version the English subtitle reads "Whozit who stinks?"
In 1960 the book was adapted by Louis Malle into a film of the same name, starring Catherine Demongeot as Zazie and Philippe Noiret as Gabriel. In the film, Zazie is younger than in the book (where her mother is worried about Zazie's virginity). The book was also adapted for theatre and published as a comic book as well.
- ISBN 0-14-218004-1 (Penguin paperback, translated by Barbara Wright)
- ISBN 2-07-052813-8 (Éditions Gallimard Jeunesse, Paris 1999)
- Marnette, Sophie (2005). Speech and Thought Presentation in French: Concepts and Strategies. John Benjamins. pp. 264–65. ISBN 9789027253767.
- Laubier, Claire (2003). The Condition of Women in France: 1945 to the Present - A Documentary Anthology. Routledge. p. 45. ISBN 9781134970032.