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|Voyage au bout de la nuit
publisher: Denoël et Steele, Paris, 1932
Journey to the End of the Night
publisher: Querido, Amsterdam, 1988
translation: Ralph Manheim
refered to by:
Louis Paul Boon
The Dark Room of Damokles
Willem Frederik Hermans
The Piano Teacher
Allah is Not Obliged
The picaresque adventures of Bardamu move from the battlefields of World War I (complete with buffoonish officers and cowardly soldiers), to French West Africa, the United States, and
| back to France in a style of prose that's lyrical, hallucinatory, and hilariously scathing toward nearly everybody and everything. Yet, beneath it all one can detect a gentle core of idealism.
|ON LOUIS-FERDINAND CéLINE'S BOOKSHELF|
Gargantua and Pantagruel
François Rabelais, 1532-1553
The classic satirical and ribald tale about the travels of Gargantua and Pantagruel, set in the French countryside.
Story of My Life
George Sand, 1854
In her 'mid-life' autobiography, George Sand (1804-1876) challenges conventional distinctions between male and female, fact and fiction, and public and private life.
Knut Hamsun, 1890
Set in Oslo, this is a compelling trip into the mind of a young writer, driven by starvation to extremes of euphoria and despair. (See also Mysteries, 1892)
The Drinking Den
Émile Zola, 1877
A washerwoman in Paris in 1877 has a hard time keeping her head above water. (See also Nana, 1880)
Émile Zola, 1880
The French novelist's classic study of a prostitute's dissolute existence and spiritual disintegration reflects his concern with the influence of heredity and environment. (See also The Drinking Den[/i)
Henri Barbusse, 1916
A graphic account of World War I from the perspective of the French trenches. It evokes the mundane degradations of trench life as well as the drama and trauma of military action. For a group of ordinary men, thrown together and longing for home, war is simply a matter of survival.
Knut Hamsun, 1892
A stranger with a 'Young Werther complex' brings excitement to a quiet Norwegian town. (See also Hunger, 1890)
Beyond the Pleasure Principle and Other Writings
Sigmund Freud, 1920
A collection of some of Freud's most famous essays, including: "On the Introduction of Narcissim", "Remembering, Repeating and Working Through", "Beyond the Pleasure Principle", "The Ego and the ID and Inhibition, Symptom and Fear".
[Exégèse des lieux communs]
Léon Bloy, 1902
Rabid Catholic Léon Bloy's 'Exegesis of the Commonplaces' (as far as we know, not yet translated into English).
|BOOKS BY LOUIS-FERDINAND CéLINE:|
Journey to the End of the Night
The picaresque adventures of Bardamu move from the battlefields of World War I (complete with buffoonish officers and cowardly soldiers), to French West Africa, the United States, and back to France in a style of prose that's lyrical, hallucinatory, and hilariously scathing toward nearly everybody and everything. Yet, beneath it all one can detect a gentle core of idealism.
|WHAT TO READ AFTER THE JOURNEY?|
(NEO)COLONIALISM AT ITS DARKEST
Things Fall Apart
Chinua Achebe, 1958
Portrait of life in a Nigerian village before and after the coming of colonialism.
Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad, 1898
Seaman Marlowe journeys deep into the heart of colonial Africa, where he encounters Kurtz, an idealist crazed and depraved by his power over the natives. The meeting prompts Marlowe to reflect on the darkness at the heart of all men.
Michel Houellebecq, 2001
Bureaucrat, together with the woman he loves, sets up agency for sexual tourism, but his hopes for a better life are blown to bits in a (Muslim) terrorist attack.
Louis Paul Boon, 1953
This is 'a pool, a sea, a chaos: it is the book of all that can be heard and seen in Chapel Road, from the year 1800-and-something until today.'
Erections, Ejaculations, Exhibitions and General Tales of Ordinary Madness
Charles Bukowski, 1972
A collection of stories from Bukowski which mirror the legendary, violent and depraved life that he describes.
A Lamb to Slaughter
Dirk Ayelt Kooiman, 1982
The life of a painter, Eastern Front veteran, and adventurer.
[Andegraund, ili Geroj nashego vremeni]
Vladimir Makanin, 1998
Petrovich, a hopelessly unpublished writer, goes underground in an effort to 'protect his art' from corruption.
Frédéric Beigbeder, 2000
Octave seems to have everything going for him: a good mind, a great job in advertising, a lavish apartment, girls, and a cocaine habit he can afford. But it soon becomes clear that he also has a serious problem with his life.
SHELL-SHOCKED: WORLD WAR I
The Enormous Room
e.e. cummings, 1922
Drawing on his experiences in France as a volunteer ambulance driver, Cummings recounts the series of mistakes that led to his arrest and imprisonment for treason.
All Quiet on the Western Front
Erich Maria Remarque, 1929
This World War I novel is a German author's attempt to tell - through the persona of a young, 'unknown soldier' - of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped its shells, were betrayed and destroyed by the war.
Fields of Glory
Jean Rouaud, 1990
As their grandchildren point out the crotchety foibles of their elders, three senior citizens explain where the habits came from, in a story of survival and the desire to be loved.
'The Regeneration Trilogy'
Pat Barker, 1991-1995
A trilogy of novels set during World War I which mingle real and fictional characters.
|Death on the Installment Plan|
Ferdinand Bardamu, Céline's alter ego, is still a doctor in Paris, treating the poor who seldom pay him but who take every advantage of his availability. (Published in the UK as Death on Credit)
|Castle to Castle|
(part 1 of the 'German Trilogy')
Autobiographical novel: trapped in a labyrinthine German castle with other French fascists, near the close of World War II, an aging doctor recalls and hallucinates the trials and terrors of his tormented life.
(part II of the German Trilogy)
Autobiographical novel charts a man's desperate attempt to get his family out of Nazi-occupied territory as the Reich begins to crumble at the end of World War II.
1969 (posthumous) (written in 1960)
(part III of the German Trilogy)
Autobiographical novel: completed just before his death in 1961, Rigadoon, the most compassionate of Céline's novels, explores the ravages of war and its aftermath.
|Guignol's Band / London Bridge|
1943 / 1964 (posthumous)
Diptych about a disabled veteran in the London underworld.
editor-in-chief: Stacey Knecht, firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to: De digitale pioniers and
Het Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds
Design: Maurits de Bruijn
Copyright: Pieter Steinz, Stacey Knecht
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