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Paris au Pluriel - Essay Example

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Voyage au but de la nuit (Journey to the End of the Night), written by Louis Ferdinand Celine (pseudonym of Louis Ferdinand Destouches), first published in 1932, was an outrageous and revolutionary fiction that redefined the art of the novel with its bleak comedy in the nihilistic and mocking style. …
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Paris au Pluriel
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Download file to see previous pages In the Journey to the End of the Night, Paris has been depicted from the point of view of the marginalized, working class and slum dwellers of the early 1930’s, that is between the wars, a time when, in the language of the narrator–protagonist Ferdinand Bardamu, the world was busy with “killing or adoring, or both together. 'I hate you! I adore you!'’."
The story, narrated in argotic language, almost echoed Celine’s life from1913 to 1932, with some changes needed for fictions. Céline pursues Bardamu through World War I trenches in Africa, the a nightmarish work in a Ford factory in the United states, and his return to postwar Paris, starting medical practice in a Paris suburb area. Celine himself was a Doctor in pitiable Parisian districts, the misery of whose residents gave him a cynical view of humanity that he translated into his fictions - side-splitting besides being scary and ostensibly vulgar. The fictional La Garenne-Rancy where he painfully observed the appalling condition of the workers “bent over their machines,… calibrating bolts and more bolts, …vapor that burns your throat and …attacks your eardrums from inside. It's not shame that makes them bow their head. You give in to noise as you give in to war. At the machines you let yourself go with three ideas that are wobbling about at the top of your head. And that's the end." (from Journey to the End of the Night, as cited in Celine, )
With 'Journey…, Celine liberated the French novel from the synthetically styled prose of Gide and Proust and gave it a plain passion and gnaw it never came across after Rabelais. It is a picaresque novel with the rogue protagonist, or antihero Ferdinand like Don Quixote, fighting "against all", yet whereas Cervantes, the creator of Don Quixote, lamented for the death of courtliness, Celine talked mockingly about the death of civility. As a slum doctor in Paris, he had heard every sort of howls-- of pain, rage and misery; mixed with his own typical French humor and changed by a style of high revulsion. This 450-page account of anger, acrimony, despair, disappointment, and acquiescence depicts a Paris of conflict, spinelessness, lies, sleaze, treachery, exploitation, perversion, bullying, cheating, gluttony, illness, isolation, insanity, lust, tittle-tattle, abortion, reprisal, and murder in a narrated in a way in which rarely any cheery word could be traced. From a literary stance, The Journey possibly could be ranked as havinng brought a strikingly new style, a chatty language that also includes many cultured elements wielding significant influence on later-day French literature.
Albert Thinaudet, renowned French essayist and a major literary critic between-the- wars said that in January 1933 Journey was still a widespead topic at dinner parties in Paris (Godard, "Notice," in Cline). Journey was an instant success making Celine as a major literary figure. An broken up, hallucinatory and dreary novel heavy in slang, it followed Ferdinand Bardamu from the trenches of the First World War, to Africa, to America, ending back in Paris, where Bardamu started medical practice. The split, self-exiled narrative portraying a disintegrated world without loveliness, decorum or possible salvation was something awful to French readers:
The worst part is wondering how you'll find the strength tomorrow to go on doing what you did today and have been ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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