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اثر لویی فردینان سلین از انتشارات مرکز - مترجم: مهدی سحابی-دهه 1950 میلادی

- Que ferez-vous, Monsieur Abetz, quand larmée Leclerc sera ici ? A Sigmaringen ? Ici même ?... au Château ?
Ma question les trouble pas... ni Hoffmann ni lui, ils y avaient pensé...
- Mais nous avons en Forêt Noire des hommes absolument dévoués, monsieur Céline !... notre maquis brun !...
- Tout de même ! tout de même, monsieur Abetz !... la petite différence !... vous faites semblant de ne pas savoir !... vous là, Abetz, même archivaincu, soumis, occupé de cent côtés, par cent vainqueurs, vous serez quand même, Dieu, Diable, les Apôtres, le consciencieux loyal Allemand, honneur et patrie ! le tout à fait légal vaincu! tandis que moi énergumène, je serai toujours le damné sale relaps, à pendre !...

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DNF...possibly my first ever but I just cant stand it anymore! string a full sentence together, man!

مشاهده لینک اصلی
Neither the English title Castle to Castle nor the French title, D’un Chateau l’autre (more literally, “From one Castle to Another”) seem like honest titles for this roman a clef. This thinly disguised autobiography embellished with (presumably) fictional details was written by Louis-Ferdinand Celine in 1957. My Penguin (paperback) edition has a small collection of interviews with the author just prior to his death and, combining those interviews with my impression of the first-person protagonist in the novel, might just as well be entitled, D’un Doleance l’autre (“From one Grievance to Another”). There is only one small section where the refugees and war criminals who make up the major portion of the novel’s cast of characters are transported from their miserable conditions in one fortified (or, at least, well-guarded) city to a fortress garrisoned by military. Then, they return.

I expected more of an expedition, quest, or escape story than the whining obsessions of an author who felt passed over by artists of less merit. As a result, I was tempted to throw the book down and stop reading it on multiple occasions. Indeed, I would have if it weren’t for several factors that kept me reading. And, apparently, I’m not the only one because even the very complimentary introduction from Kurt Vonnegut stated that he only gets splitting headaches when writing of Celine (p. xxiv). At first, Celine’s rather unique style captured me. His “three-dot” approach to storytelling, a methodology he adopted to suggest immediacy and a more realistic, colloquial voice, has not been much imitated to my knowledge. I had only encountered it in columnists like the late Herb Caen (my favorite part of the old San Francisco Chronicle) who described the chic, the corrupt, and the curious in one and two line segments separated by three dots (One of my high school teachers was included in a Caen column: something like “A guy named Forth came in fourth in a four-way track meet at Berkeley on Saturday.”), sports writers like Al Abrams (Pittsburgh Post -Gazette circa 1972) with his “Whirl Around the World of Sports” column modeled after Ed Sullivan’s “Sports Whirl” (Although Sullivan’s earlier work used font changes in separate paragraphs), and the classic user of ellipses and asterisks, Walter Winchell. I have to admit that the style does create a sense of flow that I haven’t seen in some writing.

The second factor that kept me going was that just as I was disgusted enough to quit, Celine would offer some observation like “History doesn’t pass the platter twice.” (p. 19) I also liked “…leave the past to the waxworks.” (p. 74) Even his interviews had a fascinating line: “Experience is a muffled lantern that throws light only on the bearer…” (p. xiv). Perhaps, the author’s weariness is suggested when his protagonist says, “That’s how you know you’re old, you never really sleep, but you’re never really awake, you’re always dozing…” (p. 341).

After recently visiting the heart of the Habsburg Empire in Austria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, I understood where Celine was coming from with, “…six centuries of religious gangsterism…monastery against monastery! Catholic to Luther and back again.” (p. 206) In addition, I cannot help but confess that I resonated with his cynicism concerning “crowd wisdom,” even before it was a “thing.” He wrote, “Public opinion is always right, especially when it’s really idiotic…” (p. 132). It also seems like there is good counsel in his warning, “…politicians are debutantes as long as they live.” (p. 274) There was also a question which is still causing me to reflect, “Can there be joy without disorder?” (p. 85) I guess the arms merchant in the film, The Fifth Element, would quickly answer, “No!” I take the opposite view, but I see why one would take the cynical approach.

The third factor that kept me reading was the occasional gem of a description. Describing a death which accomplished nothing, Celine wrote, “Yorick and no alas…” (p. 144). Remembering a children’s camp where he was trying to give medical treatment, he wrote: “This children’s camp in Cissan was a morgue operated on carrot soup, a Grand Guignol nursery run by phony doctors, Tartar charlatans, sadistic maniacs…” (p. 131). When an R. A. F. bombing attack against a bridge failed, “…dropping their strings of bombs over the bridge…straightdown…every which way…three from planes at a time…how did they manage to miss it? …their bombs sent up geysers! The Danube was boiling! And with much splashing all over…” (p. 158).

Yet, the reason I don’t rate this work of literature as highly as others might has to do with the overall anti-Semitic tone of the volume, the unrepentant attitude of a collaborator with the enemy, the use of the “n” word, the “k” word, and other offensive epithets, and his absolute denial that the war crimes trials were all lies and the Nuremberg prosecutors all: “…Tartuffes!” (p.131). Combine these racist and hostile dismissals of fact with the self-indulgent and embittered attitude of the author and I simply have to state that while an awareness of Celine may be worthwhile, it isn’t for everyone and I doubt that any other volumes are for me.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
Though not quite as good as his first two novels an enjoyable read nonetheless. Célines prose is a force of nature.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
Celine continues his journey as the war ends, trying to get out of France and then Germany, with ROLF results. It is absolutely a must read for Celine fans!

مشاهده لینک اصلی
The funniest book by Celine Ive read.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
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