Why kid ourselves, people have nothing to say to one another, they all talk about their own troubles and nothing else.
Each man for himself, the earth for us all.
They try to unload their unhappiness on someone else when making love, they do their damnedest, but it doesn’t work, they keep it all, and then they start all over again, trying to find a place for it.
„Your pretty, Mademoiselle,“ they say. And life takes hold of them again until the next time, and then they try the same little gimmick. „You’re very pretty, Mademoiselle…“
And in between they boast that they’ve succeeded in getting rid of their unhappiness, but everyone knows it’s not true and they’ve simply kept it all to themselves.
Since at the little game you get uglier and more repulsive as you grow older, you can’t hope to hide your unhappiness, your bankruptcy, any longer.
In the end your features are marked with that hideous grimace that takes twenty, thirty years or more to climb form your belly to your face.
That’s all a man is good for, that and no more, a grimace that he takes a whole lifetime to compose.
The grimace a man would need to express his true soul without losing any of it is so heavy and complicated that he doesn’t always succeed in completing it.
Journey to the End of the Night
Louis-Ferdinand Céline (27 May 1894 – 1 July 1961) was a French novelist, pamphleteer and physician. He developed a new style of writing that modernized French literature. His most famous work is the 1932 novel Journey to the End of the Night.
Céline used a working-class, spoken style of language in his writings, and attacked what he considered to be the overly polished, „bourgeois“ language of the „academy“.
His works influenced a broad array of literary figures, not only in France but also in the English-speaking world and elsewhere in the Western World; this includes authors associated with modernism, existentialism, black comedy and the Beat Generation.
„Journey to the End of the Night“ is a semi autobiographical novel.
Among writers in English indebted to the novel was Will Self, who claimed that it, more than any other, inspired him to write fiction.
Céline‘s literary style also greatly influenced Joseph Heller‘s Catch-22; others influenced by him include Samuel Beckett, Henry Miller and Charles Bukowski (who references Journey in a number of his works).