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Celine, Louis-Ferdinand Destouches (Translated by Dominic Di Bernardi). LONDON BRIDGE: A NOVEL ("GUIGNOL'S BAND II") . Champaign, IL: Dalkey Archive Press, 1995. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 450 pages. Fine/Fine.

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 very 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. A "must-have" title for Louis-Ferdinand Celine collectors. This title is now collectible. 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 very scarce copy thus. One of the greatest writers of the 20th century. A fine copy. . ISBN 1564780716. $50.00

This item is available for purchase. This web page was most recently updated on May 28, 2017.