Raymond Queneau

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Raymond Queneau (French pronunciation: [ʁɛmɔ̃ kəno]; 21 February 1903 – 25 October 1976) was a French poet and novelist and the co-founder of Ouvroir de littérature potentielle (Oulipo).



Born in Le Havre, Seine-Maritime, Queneau was the only child of Auguste Queneau and Joséphine Mignot. He received his first baccalauréat in 1919 for Latin and Greek, and a second in 1920 for philosophy, then studied at the Sorbonne (1921–1923) where he was a fair student of both letters and mathematics, graduating with certificates in philosophy and psychology.

Queneau performed military service as a zouave in Algeria and Morocco during the years 1925–1926. Queneau was drafted in 1939 after Germany's invasion of Poland, but he was demobilized in 1940. Through the remainder of World War II, he and his family lived with the painter Élie Lascaux in Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat.

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