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Northby Louis Ferdinand Celine
Synopses & Reviews
Accompanied by his wife, their cat, and an actor friend, our autobiographical narrator Ferdinand leaves Paris for Baden-Baden (a World War II hideaway for wealthy Germans), is then sent to a bombed-out Berlin, and finally leaves for Denmark in search of the gold he had stashed there prior to the war. With the Third Reich in ruins and the Allied armies on Ferdinand's heels, North combines documentary realism with hallucinatory images, capturing the chaos of war and its toll on both victim and victimizer.
Cline, for all his garrulous ranting, was one of the most important voices in modern French fiction, and his influence on American as well as French novelists cannot be underestimated. [North] has already received favorable criticism in this country, and this excellent translation will undoubtedly increase Cline's public here.Well worth reading by any student of the last days of the German Reich.Northslams across our imminent fin-de-siimp;quest;cle pieties as a raw and dangerous abomination . . . Simply as the tale of a picaresque ordeal . . . Northis fascinating and fizzy, but what makes it so potent as a document is the 'remarkable sensibility' that Gide commended. The prose has a dense inconsecutiveness brought about in part by Cline's favorite device of the three dots . . . (which both invite you on and trip you up), but also by his flair for letting his imagination range further than his analytical mind wants to go.
In this novel, Louis-Ferdinand Céline (Journey to the End of the Night, Death on the Installment Plan) offers us a vivid chronicle of a desperate man's frantic flight from France in the final months of World War II.
Accompanied by his wife, their cat, and an actor friend, ourautobiographical narrator Ferdinand leaves Paris for Baden-Baden (aWorld War II hideaway for wealthy Germans), is then sent to abombed-out Berlin, and finally leaves for Denmark in search of the goldhe had stashed there prior to the war. With the Third Reich in ruinsand the Allied armies on Ferdinand's heels, North combines documentary realism with hallucinatory images, capturing the chaos of war and its toll on both victim and victimizer.
About the Author
Louis-Ferdinand Céline (1894-1961) was a French writer and doctor whose novels are antiheroic visions of human suffering. Accused of collaboration with the Nazis, Céline fled France in 1944 first to Germany and then to Denmark. Condemned by default (1950) in France to one year of imprisonment and declared a national disgrace, Céline returned to France after his pardon in 1951, where he continued to write until his death. His classic books include Journey to the End of the Night, Death on the Installment Plan, London Bridge, North, Rigadoon, Conversations with Professor Y, Castle to Castle, and Normance.Ralph Manheim (1907-1992) was an American translator of German and French literature, as well as occasional works from Dutch, Polish and Hungarian. The PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation, a major lifetime achievement award in the field of translation. is named in honor of Manheim and his work.
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