Céline, Louis-Ferdinand (1894–1964) By Neushwander, Jessica
Louis-Ferdinand Céline was one of the most controversial and innovative authors of the twentieth century. Known for his use of insults, slang, and ellipses in hallucinatory narratives, Céline became a central figure of modernism in interwar France. He gained notoriety from his first novels, Voyage au bout de la nuit (Journey to the End of the Night, 1932) and Mort à Crédit (Death on the Instalment Plan, 1936), which examine modern warfare as well as everyday suffering in French society. Following World War II, Céline’s anti-Semitic pamphlets and collaboration with the Nazis caused many to reject his inventive novels and to question his place in the French literary canon. Nevertheless, Céline’s unique style of writing and his innovative storytelling have permanently influenced the modern literary landscape.