Title: LONDON BRIDGE: A NOVEL ("GUIGNOL'S BAND II")...
Publisher: Champaign, IL: Dalkey Archive Press, 1995
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Edition: 1st Edition.
1st Printing. 450 pages. Published in 1995. The author's ninth novel to be translated into English. One of Louis-Ferdinand Celine's greatest achievements. The first appearance of the title in English and in the United States. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Louis-Ferdinand Celine's "Le Pont du Londres" in a felicitous English translation. Dominic Di Bernardi's translation is based on the extensively revised 1988 Gallimard Edition entitled "Guignol's Band II", which incorporates and supersedes the 1964 Edition. "Celine's autobiographical narrator recounts his disastrous partnership with a mystical Frenchman; his uneasy relationship with London's pimps and whores and their common nemesis, Inspector Matthew of Scotland Yard; and most scandalously, his affair with a baronet's 14-year-old daughter, an English angel whose descent into vice is suspiciously smooth. Written in his trademark style, a headlong rush of brusque observation and quirky lyricism, Celine recreates the dark days during the Great War with sordid verisimilitude and desperate hilarity". Celine's black humor and mesmerizing prose, written with the most palpable immediacy, is "sui generis", inimitably original. It is also precisely why it has influenced and been imitated ("emulated") by so many writers: Kurt Vonnegut, William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Norman Mailer, Philip Roth, and Joseph Heller, to mention only the American pantheon-names. "Celine's goal was to create a kind of literature that described people in honest terms, un-embellished by the conventions of fiction, no matter how mean and crummy they were, and to portray them in the real language of everyday life and thought" (Publisher's blurb). Perhaps, but Louis-Ferdinand Destouches Celine himself remains our greatest anomaly, the Dark Figure of 20th-century Western literature, a truly great writer who was a truly evil human being. A traitorous Frenchman, he was an active collaborator during the Second World War. A highly skilled physician, he was Marshal Petain's personal doctor. A lifelong Jew-hater, he wrote some of the most virulent anti-Semitic texts of all time. Celine's self-proclaimed contemporary literary descendants such as Michel Houellebecq are nothing more than fashionable stick-figures, shallow in their insolence, pale shadows in Celine's burning light. An absolute "must-have" title for Louis-Ferdinand Celine collectors. This title is a great book. This is one of very few copies of the First American Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. It is the single most beautiful copy we have ever seen. Many copies available online have serious flaws. A scarce copy thus. One of the greatest writers of the 20th century. A fine copy. ISBN 1564780716. Bookseller Inventory # 17344
In this widely acclaimed translation, Dominic DiBernardi expertly captures Céline's trademark style of prose which has served as inspiration to such American writers as Philip Roth, Kurt Vonnegut, William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski, Norman Mailer and Joseph Heller.One of the last major untranslated works by France's most controversial author, London Bridge is a riotous novel about the London underworld during World War I. Picking up where Guignol's Band (1944; English translation 1954) left off, Céline's autobiographical narrator recounts his disastrous partnership with a mystical Frenchman (intent on financing a trip to Tibet by winning a gas-mask competition); his uneasy relationship with London's pimps and whores and their common nemesis, Inspector Matthew of Scotland Yard; and, most scandalously, his affair with a baronet's 14-year-old daughter, an English angel whose descent into vice is suspiciously smooth. He dreams of escaping with her to America to start a new life, but he, his mystical partner, and his under-aged mistress finally awake to reality crossing windswept London Bridge.
In this widely acclaimed translation, Dominic DiBernardi expertly captures Céline's trademark style of prose which has served as inspiration to such American writers as Philip Roth, Kurt Vonnegut, William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski, Norman Mailer and Joseph Heller.
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