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Each section of the book has a bunch of great, moving photos, following Celine down her long road to success. Each photo tells her story in chronological order. It makes me think of a blossoming flower, going from stage to stage.
There is also a story of what Celine has done, in preparation of her "Falling into you" tour. Georges Hebert tells the every stress Celine has felt on given days. I was amazed about how she is so loved in foreign countries. The book has skyrocketed into great success, either in french or english. I am looking forward to buying her latest book. My likes for her are not finished, even though she is on her sabbatical.
Buy the book and read it carefully. It's the type of book you won't put down! Did my review help you?
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In ''Conversations with Professor Y'' he set out to restore his reputation as an innovative literary stylist. The book appears here in English for the first time, alongside the French text, in a solid translation. Professor Y is a fictional foil for the author's digs at formal literature, and much of ''Conversations'' is hilarious. Celine is self-mocking as he tries to get his name back into circulation. He compares an eager genius to the new Big Bubbly soap product, is adamant in his revulsion at the ascendancy of ideas over emotion and is passionate in his desire to capture the immediacy of conversation on the page. ''The emotion of spoken language through the written form! Just reflect on that a bit, dear Professor Y! get your noodle in gear!'' Poor Professor Y! This dull academician (whose most intelligent comment is ''Why, holy moly! you're afloat in dialectics!'') is led on a dizzying tour of Paris, overwhelmed by a crazed author who claims he's on the brink of a revelation just when the professor expresses a need to find a bathroom. ''Conversations''is essential for Celine fans, and a good, if tame, introduction for the uninitiated.
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The exhausting, febrile, exclamatory style of 'Bridge' takes its cue from its two protagonists, the mentally disoriented Ferdinand and the rythmically possessed Sostehme, with his epileptic Eastern dances. Comprising a handful of extended set-pieces, Celine doesn't so much describe the action so much as circle around it like a deranged vulture, skirting it with an excess of repetition, obscenity and slang. Ferdinand's 'reportage', coloured by paranoia, hallucination, spasms, fantasy, desire, dream, rage, confession, frustration, guilt, fear and shellshock is further disoriented by the skittish rhythms of his partner, whose possessed, frenzied dances imitate cod-Oriental texts. Many of the teeming set-pieces reveolve around literal dances - the acrobatic choreography of a ghost in a pulsing nightclub; the attempts by Sosthene to stop traffic in Picadilly with a ritualistic dance - and the style mimics their wild, jerking, swaying movements. The novel's coup-de-grace is an astonishing 100 page parody of Proust's 'Time Regained', using the same subject matter - Zeppelin air-raids, a phantasmagoric social occasion in which the hero meets figures from his past; the disorienting mix of aristocracy and criminality - but grinding it through a snarling demotic, brutal lowlife energy and slapstick violence, culminating in the arrival of a four months-long decomposing corpse.
This misanthropic catalogue of degraded and violent, if vibrant, human interaction finds room for some of the most vivid, hyperbolic and poetic descriptions of (a re-imagined) London in literature, with its labyrinthine back-streets, infernal hideouts and hangouts, and the teeming, larger-than-life activity of its ports, just as England's imperial glory is coming to an end.
The compulsive present-tense immediacy of the narrative is occasionally broken off by reminders of the narrator's vantage-point in the hell of World War 2, with the full knowledge of civilisation's embrace of the abyss. This twisted nostalgia, complete with incredulous winkings with the reader, mixed with Shakespeare, fairy tale and the Arabian Nights, illuminates the violence and grime with a genuine enchantment.
The full flavour of Celine's complex, neologistic verbal onslaught can never be caught in English, but translator Dominic di Bernardi comes closest yet, capturing rhythm, pace and the sheer overabundance or words, and is a vast improvement on the existing version of 'Guignol's Band' (any chance of having a go at that now, Mr. di Bernardi?)
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Celine once said he wrote to make other writers unreadable. While this may strike one as a strange project, I would agree, with many others, that it was largely fulfilled. Throughout his life, Celine evolved a very personal, "jubilatoire" (sorry, my first language is French) style that does make most of modern French authors look like zombies. "Rigodon", Celine's last book, displays a unique stylistic density. His famous ubiquitous "!..." actually hide ample stylistic movements of incredible precision. The English version should show how impossible it is to translate Celine's fantastic prose.
"Journey", Celine's first book, includes unexpected borrowings form
colloquial, spoken French. A look to further works, however, shows that these borrowings were only a starting point for a unique work on
the French language. From the night of his personal experience, Celine reaches through language to ultimate elegance, light and lightness -
a transfiguration arguably difficult to translate into English.
-- Jacques P. Du Pasquier, Geneva, Switzerland
Editor of Hache, http://www.unige.ch/hache
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Celine does not really complain the misery of his fate. In his cynical manner, he merely records his incredible encounters with seemingly all the renegades and twised characters of a scorched Europe and willing or not he witnesses the atrophies and deformities of human mind. Ironically, the author somehow manages to turn his characters into hillarious and amiable, even entertaining figures.
Celine writes like no other writer you have read. His truncated sentences, in bits and pieces all over the place, remind of a rather maniac mind spinning thoughts at the speed of light in an incohomprensive, bordering to delirious babble. That's Celine all right throughout North. In poignant remarks, making fun, laughing at himself, expressing same anxiety, bitternes, and cynical observations as in his other writings, Celine moves on, weary but undefeated. Life goes on.