Louis-Ferdinand Céline

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Louis-Ferdinand Céline

Louis-Ferdinand Céline (May 27, 1894 – July 1, 1961) was a French author


Journey to the End of the Night

  • If you aren't rich you should always look useful.
    • Journey to the End of the Night, 1932
  • The natives, by and large, had to be driven to work with clubs, they preserved that much dignity, whereas the whites, perfected by public education, worked of their own free will.
    • Journey to the End of the Night, 1932
  • I cannot refrain from doubting that there exist any genuine realizations of our deepest character except war and illness, those two infinities of nightmare.
    • Journey to the End of the Night, 1932


  • "Almost every desire a poor man has is a punishable offence."
  • "The poetry of heroism appeals irresistibly to those who don't go to a war, and even more to those whom the war is making enormously wealthy. It's always so."
  • "There's a point of poverty at which the spirit isn't with the body all the time. It finds the body really too unbearable. So it's almost as if you were talking to the soul itself. And a soul's not properly responsible."
War and illness, those two infinities of nightmare.
  • "Experience is a dim lamp, which only lights the one who bears it."
  • "The novel can't compete with cars, the movies, television, and liquor. A guy who's had a good feed and tanked up on good wine gives his old lady a kiss after supper and his day is over. Finished."
  • "With two thousand years of Christianity behind him... a man can't see a regiment of soldiers march past without going off the deep end. It starts off far too many ideas in his head."
  • "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!"
  • "Living, just by itself - what a dirge that is! Life is a classroom and Boredom's the usher, there all the time to spy on you; whatever happens, you've got to look as if you were awfully busy all the time doing something that's terribly exciting - or he'll come along and nibble your brain."
  • "I don't want to go to war for Hitler, I'll admit it, but I don't want to go against him, for the Jews ... You can bawl me out all you want, but it's the Jews and they alone who are dragging us to the firing line ... Hitler doesn't like the Jews, nor do I! There's no point getting all upset over so little ... It's no crime that they make you sick."
  • "Behind all music we ought to try and catch that noiseless tone thats made for us, the melody of death."
  • "The truth of this world is to die."
  • "Like a dog, he had no idea of death."
  • "Amidst so many unstable theories, so much contradictory data, the reasonable thing, when it comes down to it, is to make no definite choice."
Experience is a dim lamp, which only lights the one who bears it.
  • "Life is nothing more than this disgusting experience where one's personality breaks up."
  • "We get nowehere, it's been proved."
  • "You must choose : either Dying or Lying."
  • "One human being can only tolerate another human being, and rather like him, if he plays the part of an admiring doormat."
  • "One might as well realize that in everyday life at least a hundred people thirst for you miserable life in the course of a single day."
  • "You delve deeper into the night at first and start to panic, but you want to know all the same, and after that you don't come out of the depths."
  • "Desertion for the artist means abandoning the concrete."
  • "Our society is rotten, dying, ... we are flying towards facism."
  • "There are only crys of Revolt and Hope. Hope for what ? That the shit will start to smell good."
  • "To Croak quite free, that at least is man's work."
  • "Scrape out your entrails, my heros !...come and have your breast stuffed, My brave ones !... All to the scrap heap, guts everywhere. the DeBraining is going to start."
  • "Since the flood all Wars have been fought to the cries of optimism."
  • "None face the "impossible confession", the pill that cannot be swallowed... that man is the worst of all species."
  • "People always seem to be struggling in a general suicide."
  • "Most authors use a "french" that is disgustingly elegant, moulded, oily, slippery like shit."
  • "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."
  • "The Bourgeois shits and he is hungry, thats all... the worker's ideal is to have twice as many bourgeois pleasures just for himself."
  • "Men seem to feel a huge, absolutely unbearable terror that they will find themselves one fine day alone, quite alone, faced with nothingness."
  • "Wherever you blind man and make him subservient to matter and make him exhaust himself for the sake of profit, straightaway hell breaks out."
  • "Without incessant artistic creation by everyone, there can be no lasting society."
  • "Fate towers so high above us, the squall carries us off like fleas in the water."
  • "It is with great strokes of bravery that slaughterhouses are replenished."
  • "One finishes up by shrivelling up like an animal and putting up with almost anything."
  • "An Immense hatred keeps me alive... i would live for a thousand years if i were certain of seeing the whole world croak."
  • "Better the eternal's brigadoon than the human calamitous empire, the mammoth schemeing molehill."
  • "At a certain point of their misery people don't care a rap about understanding... they just feel."
  • "All you are is a bundle of remorse swelling up, swelling up. Remorse for what...whom ?"
  • "In circumstances of real tragedy you see things straight away...past, present, and future together."
  • "Time's embroidery is music."
  • "The earth just doesn't want men."
  • "Death is only a cleaning machine."
  • "The public is like a woman, it wants to be fucked."
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