Louis-Ferdinand Céline was the pen name of Louis Ferdinand Auguste Destouches (pronounced [detuʃ]; 27 May 1894 – 1 July 1961), a French novelist, polemicist and physician. His first novel Journey to the End of the Night (1932) won the Prix Renaudot but divided critics due to the author’s pessimistic depiction of the human condition and his writing style based on working class speech. In subsequent novels such as Death on the Installment Plan (1936), Guignol’s Band (1944) and Castle to Castle (1957) Céline further developed an innovative and distinctive literary style. Maurice Nadeau wrote: “What Joyce did for the English language…what the surrealists attempted to do for the French language, Céline achieved effortlessly and on a vast scale.”
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