Share for friends:

Read North (1996)

North (1996)

Online Book

3.98 of 5 Votes: 4
Your rating
1564781429 (ISBN13: 9781564781420)
dalkey archive press

North (1996) - Plot & Excerpts

By the time cranky French anti-patriot Louis-Ferdinand Celine scratched out North, he had wandered a far distance from the truculent cataclysms of his Journey to the End of the Night. Celine had slipped from acclaimed iconoclast to outsider disgrace. Branded an anti-Semite, reviled as a Nazi sympathizer, Dr. Destouches had etched a paper trail to support both those assessments. North depicts the squalid exile of Celine, his wife and his cat (the cat is much more fleshed-out than the wife), accompanied by a neurasthenic French actor, in a Nazi German countryside darkened by perpetual clouds of RAF bombers on flybys toward dumping deluges of ordnance on Berlin, 70 miles away. The book corrals a scurvy crew of feckless killers, ruthless refugees and aristocratic buffoons and shuffles the human rubble along for nearly 500 pages. North exhibits no conceit of plot and no identifiable narrative drive, is exempt of sympathetic characters and is narrated with far more score-settling complaint than apology. These chapters were written through the hindsight of three prison stints and in the foreshadow of a death that wouldn’t stay away for much more than a year, perspectives reflected in the narrator’s unrelenting humors of lamentation. Reading North took just a little less than forever—just as it had my first time through as a snoozy youth with cigarette burns in all my clothes—but as the last 40 pages closed out, I was already missing Louis-Ferdinand’s whiney extolment of the human condition, not a complex of frailties and refined sensibilities, but a brutish will to endure that is every bit sacred for being entirely profane.

very nice celine, probably his funniest post ww2 novel imho, + nice splenetic h8 for everyone except his wife and bebert the cat. everyone who says journey and morte on the installment plan are his only good books are wrong and imma punch you if you say it to my face. well, not really. but please to reading about a horde of attack geese trained by angry german housewives and have a larff or two. kind of wish they would update the footnotes tho, like, i don't know who all these political ppl form the 60s who are also frenchmen are, mannheim, except de galle.

What do You think about North (1996)?

What's particularly intriguing about his narrative style is how he seems to ventriloquize even himself, blurring any distinction between fact and fiction (and perhaps thus frustrating those who seek "truth" versus "lie" in Celine's latter trilogy). I actually have the original suppressed edition that Gallimard put out but had to be retracted because of defamation suits (Celine naughtily named actual names).

well maybe you did not make it to the end. He likes children and animals. If one likes children I am not sure you can call him a misanthrope. But you are right. Generally speaking he hates adult humans.
—Michael S

J'ai lu la moitié et je suis fasciné. Imaginez un melange de que sais-je? Virginia Woolf et Ernst Junger, peut-être cas donne une idée de cet débordement des récits, obervations, exclamations. Nous sommes aux temps des derniers mois du Troisième Reich. Celine, "collabo" s'échappa de Paris afin de se sauver d'une France invahie par les alliés et les "francais libres" de de Gaulle, une Franmce où il serait surement éxecuté. Comme le francais n'est pas ma langue maternelle j'ai rencontré pas mal des most nouveaux pour moi qui ne se trouvent pas ni dans mon dictionnaire Cassels ni dans mon "petit Robert". Afin de les trouver, je peux prendre mon ordinateur..Bravo la toile! L'energie, le drole d'humeur, le perspective-tous assurent que le récit ne soit jamais ennuyeux. La neutralité parfaite du raconteur fait partie de l'humeur ironique, distance stoicienne, le dieux raconteur, ce qui me fait penser, bizarreemnt peut-être à Jeremy Clarke du "Low Life" dans le "Spectator".

Write Review

(Review will shown on site after approval)

Read books by author Ralph Manheim

Read books in series exile trilogy

Read books in category Memoir & Autobiography