Death on the Installment Plan is a companion volume to Louis-Ferinand Céline's earlier novel Journey to the End of Night. Published in rapid succession in the middle 1930s, these two books shocked European literatue and world consciousness. Nominally fiction but more rightly called "creative confessions," they told of the author's childhood in excoriating Paris slums, of serves in the mud wastes of World War I and African jungles. Mixing unmitigated despair with Gargantuan comedy, they also created a new style, in which invective and obscenity were laced with phrases of unforgettable poetry. Céline's influence revolutionized the contemporary approach to fiction. Under a cloud for a period, his work is now acknowledged as the forerunner of today's "black humor."
Here's how it started. I'd never said a word. Not one word. It was Arthur Ganate that made me speak up. Arthur was a friend from med school. So we meet on the Place Clichy. It was after breakfast. He wants to talk to me. I listen. "Not out here," he says. "Let's go in." We go in. And there we were. "This terrace," he says, "is for jerks. Come on over there." Then we see that there's not a soul in the street, because of the heat; no cars, nothing. Same when it's very cold, not a soul in the street; I remember now, it was him who had said one time: "The people in Paris always look busy, when all they actually do is roam around from morning to night; it's obvious, because when the weather isn't right for walking around, when it's too cold or too hot, you don't see them anymore; they're all indoors, drinking their cafés crèmes or their beers. And that's the truth. The century of speed! they call it. Where? Great changes! they say. For instance? Nothing has changed. They go on admiring themselves, that's all. And that's not new either. Words. Even the words haven't changed much. Two or three little ones, here and there..." Pleased at having proclaimed these useful truths, we sat looking at the ladies in the café.
Author : Louis-Ferdinand Céline
ISBN : 1564781623
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 41.74 MB
Format : PDF
Download : 371
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Completed the day before his death in 1961, Rigadoon, the most compassionate of Celine's novels, explores the ravages of war and its aftermath. Often comic and always angry, the first-person autobiographical narrator, with his wife and their cat in tow, takes the reader with him on his flight from Paris to Denmark after finding himself on the losing side of World War II. The train rides that encompass the novel are filled with madness and mercy, as Celine, a physician, aids refugees while ignoring his own medical needs.
Celine is best known for his early novels Journey to the End of the Night (1932) and Death on the Instalment Plan (1936), but this delirious, fanatical and unreasonable account of the life of Semmelweiss predates them both. Ignacz Semmelweiss (1818-1865) was a doctor, now regarded as the father of the cure to antisepsis. His fellow doctors rejected both his reasoning and his methods, thereby causing many thousands of deaths in maternity wards across Europe. While originally written as a thesis towards his medical doctorate in 1924, it was not published until 1936.