LOUIS-FERDINAND CÉLINE BAGATELLES POUR UN MASSACRE SOLUS EDITIONS DENOEL 19, RUE AMÉLIE, 19 PARIS Tous droits réservés pour tous. Bagatelles pour un massacre est publié en décembre par les Éditions Denoël. C’est le deuxième pamphlet de Céline après Mea Culpa publié au début de. C line’s Bagatelles pour un massacre: An Example of Failure. ANDREA LOSELLE. University of California, Los Angeles. When Louis-Ferdinand Celine’s Voyage.
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Translated by Greg Johnson. I bagztelles to thank the publisher for making this text available for translation. Alas, civic morals find no satisfaction here: Louis Destouches by no means loses his talent when he turns into a polemicist.
Whether you deplore it or not, Bagatelles is a great book, undoubtedly unbearable but also brilliant in its invective and vis comica.
It is, as Charles Plisnier summed it up, in his manner, in five words: Bagatelleswhich appeared at the end ofalso belongs to literature insofar as the pamphleteer who appears there is, indeed, of the first order.
And finally because this scathing attack includes many beautifully crafted pages. One thinks, for example, of the description of Leningrad: The contemporary reader will also not fail to be struck by the literally prophetic visions of the author regarding the standardization of the book, the stupefying worship of celebrities, deadly pollution, art gangrenous with ideology, etc. On the anti-Semitism of the writer, everything has already been said. The problem is well-known: Today, the title even of the book is misinterpreted.
Manipulated by the Jews, they would think only of killing one another. The third act of his play The Church shows his outrage. When one analyzes the critical reception of Trifles for a Massacreone realizes that this satire clashed less with the mentalities of the time than one would think today.
This is because anti-Semitism was then a widespread opinion, including in the literary and journalistic world. The violence of Trifles is also explained by the miserable reception, one year earlier, of the masterpiece Death on the Installment Plan.
Even today, it is truly heart-rending to read the press clippings for this novel. The more so as it is founded on natural emotion, Celtic lyricism, and not on sham, artifice, and insincerity. Cleine prides himself on having escaped from the deformation of the colleges: Admittedly, today one can read these Trifles without concerning oneself with esthetic and political battles.
Full text of “Bagatelles pour un massacre”
It remains the powerful expression of a writer who fuses the gifts of invective and comedy. If anti-Semitism is blameworthy, anti-communism is not, or not more so. It is known that for many years, the copyright holder cherished the idea of an anthology including Mea culpa and the pages of Trifles on Russia. Cleine undoubtedly was abandoned to avoid the charge of censoring a text which also has value as a historical document.
So much the better, since a book like this one must be republished in an integral manner. It is all the more necessary if one understands this at the very least paradoxical situation: This gap is henceforth filled.
Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed. Posted March 21, at 6: Posted March 17, at 7: Posted March 17, at 4: It deserves a wider audience. Posted March 17, at 6: There is an English translation of Bagatelles. See my review on Monday. How many pages is the Adinolfi book?
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