London Bridge

Overview

In this widely acclaimed translation, Dominic DiBernardi expertly captures Céline's trademark style of prose which has served as inspiration to such American writers as Philip Roth, Kurt Vonnegut, William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski, Norman Mailer and Joseph Heller.

Dalkey Archive Press

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Overview

In this widely acclaimed translation, Dominic DiBernardi expertly captures Céline's trademark style of prose which has served as inspiration to such American writers as Philip Roth, Kurt Vonnegut, William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski, Norman Mailer and Joseph Heller.

Dalkey Archive Press

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Editorial Reviews

Julian Rios
Celine, like good wines and good novelists, has improved with age. London Bridge is Celine's most thrilling novel and his best journeya hallucinatory tripto the ends (East and West) of an unreal or rather surrealistic city very much like hell.
Merlin Thomas
London Bridge is without question the warmest and most benign of all Celine's works, amusing, grotesque in places, tender for the most part, full of the enthusiasm of youth.
Frederic Vitoux
Celine's images occasionally waver on the edge of delicate and whirling lyricism, of inconsolable sorrows. . . . London Bridge is one of his most beautiful books.
Philadelphia Inquirer
A classic of black comedy. . . . Few writers have equaled this novels uninhibited style, its puckishness, its unending stream of invective, its hyperbole, its hallucinatory brilliance, its Rabelaisian profuseness.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Whatever one thinks of Cline's politics, it's hard to deny his position as an innovative, influential and still readable writer. Originally published in 1965 but never before translated into English, London Bridge continues the journey of the young Ferdinand of Guignol's Band, who, physically and psychologically damaged by his service in WWI, had left France only to fall in with a rough crowd of pimps and petty criminals in London. This sequel jumps right in with Ferdinand and his latest lunatic compatriot, Sosthne de Rodiencourt, answering the equally mad Colonel O'Collogham's advertisement for help designing and testing gas masks. The shysters settle in comfortably with the colonel until Ferdinand's old cronies discover his whereabouts and Virginia, the colonel's 14-year-old nymphet niece, winds up pregnant as a result of Ferdinand's attentions. All this may sound distasteful, but this is the hard-edged world so perfectly suited to Cline's slangy, propulsive language, filled with ellipses and exclamation marks (``right off they start flapping about helplessly, crumple, in twosomes... foursomes... in heaps... snoring away... they need a shot of booze, a pick-me-up!... the gang's dozed off!''). Cline at his most grizzly is also Cline at his most maniacally funny-here, particularly when Centipede, a footpad Ferdinand had killed in Guignol's Band, comes back in all his putrescence to have dinner with Ferdinand and Virginia. Ferdinand is a semi-autobiographical character-like him, Cline was injured in the war and subsequently went to London-and, perhaps because of this personal connection, there is always a hint of vulnerability under the carapace of Cline's perpetual cynicism. (Mar.)
Library Journal
Le Pont de Londres first appeared in 1964, three years after Cline's death; the published text reproduced the author's uncorrected, unrevised typescript. This translation is based on the revised Pliade edition (Gallimard, 1988), which incorporated all of Cline's existing corrections and revisions and provided a more explicit title-Guignol's Band II: Le Pont de Londres, making this the sequel to Guignol's Band (1944.). The setting in this second part is not unfamiliar to readers of the first. The autobiographical narrator makes his way through the seedy parts of London, including the docks, which continue to be haunted by both police and the underworld of pimps and prostitutes. Translator Di Bernardi has achieved a tour de force by providing an English equivalent of the underground's unsavory grammar and by re-creating Cline's metro emotif (the latter's own terms): dislocated phrases separated by ellipses, effecting a constant firing of verbal energy. Recommended for literary collections.-Danielle Mihram, Univ. of Southern California Lib., Los Angeles
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781564781758
  • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1995
  • Series: French Literature Series
  • Pages: 390
  • Sales rank: 1,400,907
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Louis-Ferdinand Céline (1894-1961) was a French writer and doctor whose novels are antiheroic visions of human suffering. Accused of collaboration with the Nazis, Céline fled France in 1944 first to Germany and then to Denmark. Condemned by default (1950) in France to one year of imprisonment and declared a national disgrace, Céline returned to France after his pardon in 1951, where he continued to write until his death. His classic books include Journey to the End of the Night, Death on the Installment Plan, London Bridge, North, Rigadoon, Conversations with Professor Y, Castle to Castle, and Normance.

In addition to several of Jacques Roubaud’s books, Dominic Di Bernardi has translated works by Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Muriel Cerf, Claude
Ollier, and Patrick Grainville, among others.

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