fragment 0004: Louis-Ferdinand Céline

I don’t like informality… All this drunken flesh sickens me… I get some funny ideas myself… I ain’t drunk!… I never drink… It’s reason that makes me stagger… under the whacks of circumstance! that’s it! events that are just too strong! And Vroom! it starts all over again!…

– Guignol’s Band
J’aime pas la familiarité… Toutes ces viandes saoules m’écœurent… Je me sens drôle des idées moi-même… Je suis pas ivre!… Je bois jamais rien… C’est la raison qui me chancelle… sous les à-coups des circonstances! tout simplement! des évènements qui sont trop forts! Et Vraoum! ça repart de plus belle!…

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One comment

  1. Well, this says a lot about Céline’s stupendous brain trapped inside a peasant’s thick skull. It is difficult for an American to imagine that a rebel wouldn’t like informality. Especially a rebel from the slums of Paris who hated pretentious writers, critics, academics and so forth. But Céline was a kind of deep reactionary. If he were alive in the USA today, he’d hate the literary establishment, the think-tanks and the foundations that dole out grants. He’d hate Big Money. But he’d also hate the bottom feeders who call everyone “bro'” and affect equality with their superiors. He’d hate illegal immigrants lecturing European Americans on their moral inferiority as “racists”. And he’d hate half-naked young tarts lecturing old men on their moral inferiority as sexist gawkers and creeps.

    Céline was wildly irrational. He hated Modernity with its prissy art and prissy social science. But, first of all, he had a stupendous brain trapped inside a peasant’s thick skull and that was his primary struggle. Everything else, including his anti-semitism, was secondary to the inner-fight.

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