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Louis-Ferdinand Celine[Louis-Ferdinand_Celine]


Oraş de reşedinţă: Courbevoie - Franţa
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Biografie Louis-Ferdinand Celine

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Biografie Louis-Ferdinand Celine

Louis-Ferdinand Céline was the pen name of French writer and doctor Louis-Ferdinand Destouches (27 May 1894 – 1 July 1961). The name "Céline" was chosen after his grandmother's first name. Céline is considered one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century, developing a new style of writing that modernized both French and World literature. He remains, however, a controversial figure because of anti-Semitic statements published in 1937 and during the Second World War.

Only child of Ferdinand-Auguste Destouches and Marguerite-Louise-Céline Guilloux, he was born Louis-Ferdinand Destouches in 1894 at Courbevoie, just outside Paris in the Seine département (now Hauts-de-Seine). His father was a minor functionary in an insurance firm and his mother was a lacemaker. In 1905 he was awarded his Certificat d'études, after which he began working as an apprentice and messenger boy in various trades. Between 1908 and 1910 his parents sent him to Germany and England for a year in each country in order to acquire foreign languages for future employment. In 1912 he began a three year enlistment in the 12th Cavalry Regiment stationed in Rambouillet. In October 1914 he was wounded in action near Ypres, and was awarded the médaille militaire in November, and appeared on the cover of the weekly l'Illustré National in December.The head injury left him with recurrent tinnitus. In 1915 his arm wounds were such that he was declared physically unfit for any more active duty. He was sent to London to work in the passport office there.

His best-known work is Voyage au bout de la nuit (Journey to the End of the Night), translated into English most recently by Ralph Manheim. It broke many literary conventions of the time, using the rhythms and, to a certain extent, the vocabulary of slang and vulgar speech in a more consistent (and occasionally difficult) way than earlier writers who had made similar attempts (notably Émile Zola), in the tradition of François Villon. The book became a public success, but Céline was not awarded the Prix Goncourt, despite strong support; the voting was controversial enough to become the subject of a book (Goncourt 32 by Eugène Saccomano, 1999).

In 1936 he published Mort à crédit (Death on the Installment Plan), giving innovative, chaotic, and antiheroic visions of human suffering. Here, he extensively uses ellipses scattered all throughout the text to enhance the rhythm and to emphasise the style of speech.

In both these books he not only showed himself to be a great innovator of style but also a masterly story teller. He was widely admired at that time by Jean-Paul Sartre.

Céline fled France during liberation, and joined the last remnants of the Vichy government in Sigmaringen. He subsequently lived in exile for a number of years. During the rise of Nazi Germany, he wrote three typically cynical and antisemitic pamphlets: Bagatelles pour un massacre (Trifles for a Massacre) (1937), L'École des cadavres (School of Corpses) (1938) and Les Beaux draps (The Fine Mess) (1941), the last one published during the occupation of France.

The massacre that Céline had in mind when he titled his first overtly antisemitic pamphlet Bagatelles pour un massacre was that of the "goïms," or Gentiles, who he thought would be led in slaughter once again in another great war. Céline had been mobilized during the First World War where he received a serious arm injury in the course of a mission for which he had volunteered.[4] In later years he was to claim that he had undergone trepanation at the hands of army surgeons in 1915 (the fictional character Robinson claims to have undergone this procedure in Journey to the End of the Night). This claim was a false one, invented for reasons that grew out of Céline's desire to picture himself as an unjustly persecuted loner. Records from the Paul Brousse Hospital in Villejuif on the outskirts of Paris state that only his arm was operated on.

Although Céline's political ideals appeared to have had much in common with the Nazis, he was publicly critical of Adolf Hitler whom he called a "Jew" and of "Aryan baloney". His fascist views are evident in L'Ecole des cadavres where he calls for a Franco-German alliance in order to counter the alliance between British intelligence and "the international Jewish conspiracy"

Céline was a friend of the German-French sculptor Arno Breker. He visited Breker last time in Germany in 1943 at Breker's Castle Jaeckelsbruch near Berlin. After the Vichy regime fell in 1944, Céline escaped judgment by fleeing to Sigmaringen, Germany, accompanying the Vichy Chief of State Marshal Philippe Pétain, and President Pierre Laval. For a brief time Céline acted as Laval's personal physician. A fictional account of this period can be found in Céline’s novel "D'un château l'autre" (Castle to Castle), published in 1960.

After the fall of the Nazi government Céline subsequently fled to Denmark (1945). Branded a collaborator, he was convicted in absentia (1950) in France to one year of imprisonment and declared a national disgrace. He was subsequently granted amnesty and returned to France in 1951.

Céline regained fame in later life with a trilogy telling of his exile: D'un château l'autre, (describing the fall of Schloss Sigmaringen), Nord and Rigodon. He settled down in Meudon, where he was visited by several friends and artists, among them the famous actress Arletty. He became something of an icon for the Beat Movement. Both William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg visited him in his Parisian apartment in the 1950s. Céline died on 1 July 1961 of a ruptured aneurysm and was interred in a small cemetery at Bas Meudon (part of Meudon in the Hauts-de-Seine département).

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