(Let’s pretend it is) Bookworm Wednesday: Boris Vian
Who? Boris Vian
What? A jazz musician who wrote some wonderful surrealistic novels
Recommended read? Foam of The Daze
Sorry for the delay. Well, I’m not really sorry because far more important things came up yesterday evening, which matter more to me than pleasing my readers. Then again, because i wanna keep my pace (don’t know if i’ll manage in doing so), I’ll just post two things today. The first being the post of yesterday, about books! and writers!
I’m not claiming to be a man with great knowledge of literature, though i’ve read a lot and do now fairly a lot about literature. But i haven’t read much of the real classics (being all books published before 1900), so i can never be the real thing. Then again, literature is not about having read the most, but about finding inspiration for life. It’s about all the things we dream about during daytime, but can’t tell anyone; it’s about the desire of the things we can’t grasp ourselves; about life as it should and shouldn’t be and never will be, but always will.
I’ve read 2 novels by Boris Vian once, who also got famous by singing french jazz songs. During sixth grade, we read ‘Foam Of The Daze’ (in French) in a simplified version. It’s the rather absurd story of a young man who falls in love, and loses the girl he loves because there is a lily growing in her lungs. But what is so great about it, is the small dots of surrealism that seem so inexplicably normal. I haven’t read it in a while, but as i just reread the first page, i stumbled upon the main character emptying his bath tub by making a hole in it… that’s just a really small example, but the book is loaded with that..
There is an other book i’ve read, don’t know if it ever got published in English, but it’s called the Extra, about a guy who plays an extra on a film set, thinking being one is a real job, but he gets desillusioned by all the other extras who are very negative about this “work” (they don’t see it as work)…with a wonderful though creepy ending.
Boris Vian also got famous for writing pulp fiction, but i must admit that though i’ve got one of these pulp novels at home, i’ve never managed to read it till the end. I’d rather like the real novelist.
Someone got me a dutch copy of Foam of the daze (for which i’ll be eternally grateful), but it’s been out of print quite some years now (in Dutch that is). I found an english translation however on amazon. You should all go and read it, if you love jazz and surrealism.