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Mots d'Heures: Gousses, Rames, The d'Antin Manuscript Paperback – November 20, 1980


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 45 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (November 20, 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140057307
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140057300
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #243,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, French

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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This is just a fun book to read out loud..
Mar
Read them phonetically, and suddenly the poems take shape in a Proustian way, as the nursery rhymes of your youth.
Anonymous
Even with a minimal knowledge of French the book is easily understandable.
Ken Anton : ken@geharris.co.uk

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Catherine S. Vodrey (csvodrey@raex.com) on December 14, 1998
Format: Paperback
I am a cousin of the author's, and think that anyone who picks up "Mots D'Heures" should be aware of the amazing life that produced such a witty author. Luis van Rooten was the quintessential Renaissance man. He was trained and worked professionally as an architect; acted in both radio serials and on film (see him as the sassy reporter in the Kirk Douglas film "Detective Story," not to mention his stints in the cinematic classics "Two Years Before the Mast," "The Big Clock" and "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes"); drew and did woodblock prints and painted; and, oh yes, he happened to put out a couple of priceless little volumes of writing as well. Luis' artistic and creative abilities come to full flower in "Mots D'Heures," which requires neither a knowledge of French nor a particular facility with Mother Goose rhymes to enjoy--although both help deepen the reader's appreciation. It is the kind of high-minded silliness that makes you weak from laughter. I cannot recommend the book too highly, and wish it would come back into print, as it makes an excellent gift for anyone with even a glimmer of a sense of humor. You know it's a good book when you have trouble thinking of people who would NOT enjoy it!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Anonymous on October 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
With the spurious title "The D'Antin Manuscript", suspicions are immediately alerted. D'Antin = "downtown", maybe? More than likely.
The book purports to be a rediscovery of a mediaeval French manuscript and is presented with appropriate introduction, notes, etc., the usual machinery of scholars. However, upon reading the poems, the arcane nature of the French renders the lines meaningless. What kind of manuscript is this, anyway? You go with the flow - you chuck "meaning" out the window.
Read them phonetically, and suddenly the poems take shape in a Proustian way, as the nursery rhymes of your youth. Not only is the book great fun to return to a) for a laugh and b) to practise your French accent (you'll need the fluency for, e.g. "Un petit d'un petit" - Humpty Dumpty). It's also great to fake your friends out with this handy little tome.
Bring it back into print!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Tracy Baxter on December 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
If you know your Nursery Rhymes, and have a passing knowledge of how to pronounciate french words - you will love this -
Un petit d'un petit S'etonne au Halles Un petit d'un petit Ah! Degres te fallent....
If you are French you probably won't get it because the trick is knowing your Mother Goose. My Dad got a copy from Santa this Christmas, published by Penguin Books in 1980. I hope that info helps some in their search.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 8, 1997
Format: Paperback
Reminiscent of Woody Allen's books, this one causes the reader to laugh outloud, uncontrollably and to the envy of everyone around. The author flies in the face of Moliere, casting Mother Goose ryhmes into french....without translating them! Equally hysterical are the footnotes explaining the more obscure linguistical twists, adding a semi-serious face to an otherwise unique humor book. To be read on a dreary day
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Isenbergh on January 10, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mots D'Heures: Gousses, Rames is one of the greatest literary entertainments ever written. It runs the gamut from touchingly nostalgic to raucous. Above all, it is howlingly funny. It makes me laugh so hard it hurts.
You need two things to enjoy Mots D'Heures: Gousses, Rames. You should know some French, and you should know some nursery rhymes. With that, the book will hit you from line to line with waves of jaw-dropping hilarity, endless wit, and moments of poignant reminiscence.

There is nothing more to say except: bah, six boucs! [The author apparently thinks you should pay six goats---or a sheep?]

Update -- Having unguardedly purchased a copy of the paperback edition listed above, I must agree with a recent reviewer that the production is dreadful. A reader interested in this masterwork would do well to seek out a copy of the original 1967 edition (long out of print), even at considerable cost. But not from me, though. I wouldn't part with mine for less than tartines fortunes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Theodore D. Sternberg on July 11, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Zebu qui se regrette: there's no question about that, and I _am_ grateful that it's back in print. BUT, buyers beware: the print in this edition looks like it came out of a cheap photocopier. Van Rooten deserved better.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ken Anton : ken@geharris.co.uk on November 12, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent and amusing book, displaying the author's ability at wordplay in two languages. Even with a minimal knowledge of French the book is easily understandable. The German version is even better: Morder Guss Reims: The Gustav Leberwurst manuscript, by John Hulme : 6 out of 5 for this one!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 3, 1996
Format: Paperback
This is a truely amusing work, giving a sardonic twist to
the fairy-tales we have grown up with. I am gratified to
see it in re-release as I have been searching for a copy
for many years to replace my own lost volume. Van Rooten
has a masters touch in his translations of these standard
tales, the so called 'Mother Goose Rhymes', into french.
The result is a beautiful, and at times beatific, prose
which strikes to the essense of these yarns, if straying
slightly from a direct translation.

humbly,

Michael L. Barta
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