(pen name of Louis-Ferdinand Destouches). Born May 27, 1894, in Courbevoie; died July 1, 1961, in Meudon. French writer. Physician by training.
In the novels Journey to the End of the Night (1932; Russian translation, 1934) and Death on the Installment Plan (1936), Céline naturalistically depicted the horrors of bourgeois existence and the transformation of “the little man” into a wolf among wolves. In 1936 he visited the USSR, and in the same year he wrote the pamphlet Mea culpa, a slanderous attack against communism. An apologist for fascism, he advocated anti-Semitism (the pamphlet Bagatelles for a Massacre, 1937), defended Hitlerite racism (the pamphlet The School of Corpses, 1938), and fawned over the fascist German occupation forces (the pamphlet A Fine Mess, 1941). Céline expressed his bitterness over the defeat of fascism in the memoirs A Fairy Play for Another Time (1952). The autobiographical chronicles Castle to Castle (1957) and North (1960) deal with the final struggles of the collaborationists and the last days of the fascist regime.
WORKSRomans. Paris, 1962.
REFERENCESShkunaeva, I. D. Sovremennaia frantsuzskaia literatura. Moscow, 1961.
Vitoux, F. L.-F. Céline: Misère et parole. [Paris, 1973.]
Guenot, J. L.-F. Céline damné par l’écriture. [Paris, 1973.]
V. P. BALASHOV