01 March 2010

Time for a (bloody long) Céline quote

Note that the ellipses are in the original.
That's all very well ... But in the meantime Brottin [his publisher, also referred by his first name 'Achille'] gives me the lowdown: no soap! ... 'You sell less and less ... your Normance? ... a disaster ... nothing in it to put you back in the clink ... no pornography ... no fascism ... poor bastard! ... the critics, though ... poison fangs! the whole works! all ready! ... it's impossible ... they're disgusted with you! ... what about their hamburger? ... heartless! ... their pay envelopes? ... their families? ...'

'Stop writing,' you'll say ... you're perfectly right ... but what about Lili [his wife], the dogs and cats, the birds, and the snowdrops ... we had some this winter ... maybe you've got some idea?

In fact, I can assure you: even living at rock bottom ... cutting down on everything ... it's a hard fight with the elements, winds, drafts, humidity, coal bills! ... cauliflower, smoked herring! the fight to go on living! ... carrots! ... or even crusts of bread!

But what about my style and my masterpieces? ... cabala, boycott ... naturally! I say string up all the plagiarists! and not only the plagiarists, the incompetents too! God knows! ... at Achille's alone, thousands of them ... for my money Dumel, Mauriac, Tartre, same noose! ... the dozen Goncourt prize winners on the next tree! ... oh, and I forgot the Archbishop of Paris! before the 'due process' crowd ... we wouldn't want that ... start asking for his head at the Porte Brancion.

Talking about gas and such trifles, the bill's due tomorrow ... I owe for two 'readings' ... I owe the tax collector, too ... I owe for coal ... I repeat myself? ... hell ... in the same situation ... in the same mess ... you'd be yelling so hard they could hear you in Enghien ... they'd have to come and get you ... with sedatives and straitjackets! Lili and I've been going on like this for fifteen years ... with the pack at our heels ... Fifteen years is a long time ... the ferocious Teutonic occupation was only three years at most ... think it over!

I see I'm boring you ... change the record! ... string up the bourgeoisie? ... the bourgeoisie of all parties ... I'm all for it, posolutely! A bourgeois is a one hundred percent stinker ... I'm thinking of one in particular, Tartre! the cream of the sewer! the way he slandered me, moved heaven and earth to have me drawn and quartered, I vote him five ... or six malignant tumours between the oesophagus and the pancreas ... top priority!

Tartre robbed me and slandered me ... don't try to tell me different ... but no worse than my relations ... and he's not amusing like my aunt! ... far from it ... my aunt's shock ... practically a stroke ... at seeing me again! ... that I wasn't dead! ... that they hadn't executed me! ... 'You? You?' ... she couldn't believe it ... 'You here?'

2 comments:

stephen said...

Ha ha "note that the ellipses are in the original"

You mean, "Note for non-readers of Celiné"...

stephen said...

Fuck, I mean Céline.

visitors since 29 March 2004.