Jordan Stump had often contemplated the relationship between a translation and "the book itself," ruminating on the intriguing inherent sameness and difference between the two. In The Other Book, Stump examines the "other" forms of a book and the ways in which they both mirror and depart from the original. Grounding his witty and original study in an exploration of four forms of Raymond Queneau's Le chiendent-a copy, the manuscript, a translation, and a critical edition-Stump poses questions designed to help readers reconsider the nature of fiction and reading.
Each form of Le chiendent both is and is not what we mean when we say "Le chiendent," yet the friction between their ways of being and that of "the book itself" proves unexpectedly productive, raising troublesome questions about the nature of textuality, reading, language, and knowledge. It also positions us to assess several answers proposed in response to such questions and to wonder about their usefulness. And as we consider those questions, we will have Queneau's novel beside us, further confounding our attempts to answer-for our inability to answer those questions is precisely the point of The Other Book, as it is of Le chiendent.
Jordan Stump is a professor of French at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is the author of Naming and Unnaming: On Raymond Queneau (Nebraska 1998) and has translated numerous texts. His translation of Claude Simon's The Jardin des Plantes was awarded the French-American Foundation's translation prize; in the fall of 2006, he was named Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
Introduction 1. Copy 2. Manuscript 3. Translation 4. Critical Edition Conclusion Works Cited Index