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I'm a Snob
by Boris Vian, translation by Ina Pfitzer

Boris Vian (1920-1959) was a poet, novelist, playwright, translator, singer, jazz musician, composer and the Prince of the St.-Germain-des-Prés artist quarter in Paris. As opposed to Sartre and others, Vian refused to be "engagé" and co-founded the Collège de Pataphysique to mock the literary establishment. Boris Vian has been an idol of French youth, especially known for his surrealist love story L'Ecume des Jours and for his anti-war song "Le déserteur." Suffering from a heart condition, Vian tried to sleep as little as possible to benefit from life to the utmost. He calculated that at the age of 40, he would have lived as long as someone 102 years old who had slept normally.

 

I'm a snob
I'm a snob
That is the only flaw which makes me throb
This means years of drudgery
It is a life of slavery
But when I go out with Fran┴oise
They always all look at moi
I'm a snob
A total snob
All my friends are snobs too
We are snobs and that's cool

Shirts of organdy
Footwear of zebu
Ties from Italy
And a sharp worm-eaten suit
Rubies on my toe
Not this one, no no
My nails painted black
and a cute little handkerchief

I take all my chicks
To see Swedish flicks
And in the saloon
I drink whisky till I swoon
Don't have liver pain
That'd be too mundane
I have ulcers
That's less banal and much swanker

I'm a snob
I'm a snob
My name's Patrick but they call me Bob
I go riding every day
'Cause I love that horse-dung bouquet
And I date only noble dames
With trombones for their names
I'm a snob
Excessively snob
I only speak of love
When I'm nude in the yard

Myself and my crowd
We us'lly hang out
On Fridays, no doubt
To have snobbism parties
We drink Coke all night
but that's just to spite
and eat Camembert
with tiny silverware
My chic apartment
has charm to no end
I heat with a diamond
Can't think of anything more in trend
I had a TV
but that just bored me
I turned it around
that's so much more vibrant

I'm a snob
I'm a snob
I'm devastated by this microbe
I've accidents with my Jaguar
I spend all August in my boudoir
It is in these little details
that a true snob prevails
I'm a snob
Ever more snob by the hour
And when one day I'm pass╚
I want a shroud from Gaultier

Ina Pfitzner came to LSU in search of sunshine, where she finds procrastinating working on her dissertation much easier than in her original Berlin. She recently returned from a one-year visit to Paris, and is recovering from excessive exposure to delicious wines and cheese there.

Publications: More Biermann in Chelsea. 67/2000. p.133-35

Links: www.shoestringmagazine.org

Email: inaline@bellsouth.net

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