"Equivalent" Author in English?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Boris Vian : One Thread

I'm a French-speaker and Boris Vian is probably my favorite authors overall. Could anyone recommend an English-speaking author that would possibly provide me with the same pleasure as reading Vian? What I'm looking for mostly has to do with creativity, rhythm, playful use of language, sense of the absurd, non-linearity, and zazou themes. Obviously, I don't expect all of these ingredients to be present at once, but I'd like to explore possible literary paths leading to this type of enjoyment. Thanks in advance for your help.

-- Alexandre Enkerli (aenkerli@indiana.edu), January 02, 2003



Not many people have the verbal play and the puns of Vian, perhaps Gilbert Sorrentino's "Mulligan Stew" is a possibility. Flann O'Brien, an Irish author, is wonderful - he wrote "At Swim Two Birds" and "The Third Policeman" which are very funny. Flann O'Brien has a savant called De Selby who has many characteristics of pataphysics. Harry Matthews would be worth following up, his work is rather dense and poetic.

-- Robert Whyte (rob@toadshow.com.au), June 29, 2003.

Not as a complaint but it's been long enough since I sent my query that it took me a second or two to see what the email notification might be about. Interestingly enough, I was just talking about Vian a few hours ago. While his writing has nothing to do with Vian's, I was telling my wife that Robertson Davies could provide me as intense reading pleasure as Vian, though of a different quality.

Thank you for your kind suggestions. They're now in my handheld list of "To Do" readings.

-- Alexandre Enkerli (aenkerli@indiana.edu), June 29, 2003.

Though noty so poetic in nature, but surrealistic to the hilt, and dadaistic & pataphysic in outlook is the Romanian writer URMUZ. P.

-- Petre M. (petremure@totalnet.ro), December 01, 2003.

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