- Paperback: 432 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing India Private Limited; 01 edition (2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1847492401
- ISBN-13: 978-1847492401
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,15,217 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Journey to the End of the Night Paperback – 2012
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Journey to the End of the Night, first published in 1932, is one of the greatest novels of the 20th century... It could be said that without Celine there would have been no Henry Miller, no Jack Kerouac, no Charles Bukowski, no Beat poets. -- John Banville The blackest comedies can baffle readers not trained, or just unwilling, to recognise the comic in human extremis. It's obscene, rock-bottom laughter, disabused of all idealism, that provides the tonic Celine speaks of. -- Howard Jacobson * The Guardian * My favourite French classic has to be Journey to the End of the Night by Louis-Ferdinand Celine. It's an epic that takes you all around the world, but the centre of the world is Paris, or Celine's delirious, slightly hallucinatory, incredibly poetic vision of it. -- Andrew Hussey * The Guardian * Celine's expletive-laden, first-person narration influenced Henry Miller, Charles Bukowski and Beat poetry. But the influences do not stop there: one cannot help but appreciate the palpable influence that the author's anti-war invective and defence of cowardice had on Joseph Heller's Yossarian and Kurt Vonnegut's Billy Pilgrim respectively. But, the interest of those he influenced aside, Celine's novel remains as readable and vital today as it was in the 1930s. * TLS * Born in the shadow of entrenched realism and naturalism, Celine ripped up the textbook. He wasn't the first French writer to use a colloquial style, but he was the first to use it so relentlessly and powerfully, to create a brand, the rant, whether it was delirious, lyrical or raging. -- Tibor Fischer * The Guardian *
About the Author
Ralph Manheim (b. New York, 1907) was an American translator of German and French literature. His translating career began with a translation of Mein Kempf in which Manheim set out to reproduce Hitler's idiosyncratic, often grammatically aberrant style. In collaboration with John Willett, Manheim translated the works of Bertolt Brecht. The Pen/Ralph Manheim Medal for translation, inaugurated in his name, is a major lifetime achievement award in the field of translation. He himself won its predecessor, the PEN translation prize, in 1964. Manheim died in Cambridge in 1992. He was 85.
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Some may feel the book to be pessimistic but rather I believe the author rightly explains the problems of different cultures, societies; I would say that the book explains the blunt side of reality. And, I believe it is a good read.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Voyage au bout de la nuit was originally published in 1932, As a first novel, it was quite successful, and has remained something of a lurking classic. It is loosely auto-biographical. The story runs through Céline's traumatic experiences of WW1, through mostly miserable experiences in tropical Africa and the USA and back to France, where the author-narrator becomes a financially unsuccessful medical doctor in Paris. His style is sometimes choppy, jumping from scene to scene, highly vernacular and often makes use of gross exaggeration. There is a lot of slang - somewhat different from that of today - and I bought this English version to help me through reading the French original. I am a reasonable speaker of French, but there is so much "argot" and unusual colourful expression in this book that there are many passages which I found difficult. Thus I have been able to compare this translation with the original as I go along. It is the only translation I know, and may not be the best, but it certainly captures the flavour of the original. Mostly, the English runs close to the French, but there are many places where the translation is very free: inevitable with a work like this. In these instances, the translator has correctly gone for a view of the woods, rather than the trees. I would definitely recommend this version to anyone who either cannot or does not wish to read the original or whose French, like mine, is not quite good enough to handle it without a crib.
I laughed myself sick in some parts.
It’s pessimistic, brutal, misanthropic and I loved it. Céline takes the reader through the muck and grime of life, straight into the night.
i started it late and it took several running starts because of the difficult of the language, but once in, I was had for good. Sorry I lived so many years without it.