Quotes by Louis-Ferdinand Céline

"I have never voted in my life... I have always known and understood that the idiots are in a majority so it's certain they will win."

"To hell with reality! I want to die in music, not in reason or in prose. People don't deserve the restraint we show by not going into delirium in front of them. To hell with them!"

"The worst part is wondering how you’ll find the strength tomorrow to go on doing what you did today and have been doing for much too long, where you’ll find the strength for all that stupid running around, those projects that come to nothing, those attempts to escape from crushing necessity, which always founder and serve only to convince you one more time that destiny is implacable, that every night will find you down and out, crushed by the dread of more and more sordid and insecure tomorrows. And maybe it’s treacherous old age coming on, threatening the worst. Not much music left inside us for life to dance to. Our youth has gone to the ends of the earth to die in the silence of the truth. And where, I ask you, can a man escape to, when he hasn’t enough madness left inside him? The truth is an endless death agony. The truth is death. You have to choose: death or lies. I’ve never been able to kill myself."

"The sadness of the world has different ways of getting to people, but it seems to succeed almost every time."

"An unfamiliar city is a fine thing. That's the time and place when you can suppose that all the people you meet are nice. It's dream time."

Books by Louis-Ferdinand Céline

  • Castle to Castle
  • 1,072 ratings
  • March 1st 1997 by Dalkey Archive Press

    (first published 1957)

  • Guignol's Band
  • 1,015 ratings
  • January 17th 1969 by New Directions

    (first published April 1944)

  • North
  • 642 ratings
  • September 1st 1996 by Dalkey Archive Press

    (first published 1960)

  • Rigadoon
  • 436 ratings
  • November 1st 1997 by Dalkey Archive Press

    (first published 1969)

  • Semmelweis
  • 399 ratings
  • December 31st 2014 by Atlas Press (GB)

    (first published 1952)

  • London Bridge
  • 218 ratings
  • July 1st 1999 by Dalkey Archive Press

    (first published March 20th 1964)

Louis-Ferdinand Céline
  • Louis-Ferdinand Céline

  • Date of birth: May 27, 1894
  • Died: July 01, 1961
  • Born: in Courbevoie, France.

  • Description: Louis-Ferdinand Céline, pen name of Dr. Louis-Ferdinand Destouches, is best known for his works Voyage au bout de la nuit (Journey to the End of the Night), and Mort à crédit (Death on the Installment Plan). His highly innovative writing style using Parisian vernacular, vulgarities, and intentionally peppering ellipses throughout the text was used to evoke the cadence of speech.

    Louis-Ferdinand Destouches was raised in Paris, in a flat over the shopping arcade where his mother had a lace store. His parents were poor (father a clerk, mother a seamstress). After an education that included stints in Germany and England, he performed a variety of dead-end jobs before he enlisted in the French cavalry in 1912, two years before the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. While serving on the Western Front he was wounded in the head and suffered serious injuries—a crippled arm and headaches that plagued him all his life—but also winning a medal of honour. Released from military service, he studied medicine and emigrated to the USA where he worked as a staff doctor at the newly build Ford plant in Detroit before returning to France and establishing a medical practice among the Parisian poor. Their experiences are featured prominently in his fiction.

    Although he is often cited as one of the most influential and greatest writers of the twentieth century, he is certainly viewed as a controversial figure. After embracing fascism, he published three antisemitic pamphlets, and vacillated between support and denunciation of Hitler. He fled to Germany and Denmark in 1945 where he was imprisoned for a year and declared a national disgrace. He then received amnesty and returned to Paris in 1951.

    Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Henry Miller, William Burroughs, and Charles Bukowski have all cited him as an important influence.

    Translated Profiles:
    Луи-Фердинанд Селин