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Louis Ferdinand Céline
French novelist

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Ça a débuté comme ça. Moi, j’avais jamais rien dit. Rien. C’est Arthur Ganate qui m’a fait parler. Arthur, un étudiant, un carabin lui aussi, un camarade. On se rencontre donc place Clichy. C’était après le déjeuner. Il veut me parler. Je l’écoute. « Restons pas dehors ! qu’il me dit. Rentrons ! » Je rentre avec lui. Voilà. « Cette terrasse, qu’il commence, c’est pour les oeufs à la coque ! Viens par ici ! » Alors, on remarque encore qu’il n’y avait personne dans les rues, à cause de la chaleur ; pas de voitures, rien.

-- Opening words of Voyage au bout de la nuit (1932)

Here's how it started. I'd never said a word. Not one word. It was Arthur Ganate that made me speak up. Arthur was a friend from med school. So we meet on the Place Clichy. It was after breakfast. He wants to talk to me. I listen. "Not out here!" he says, "Let's go on!" We go in. And there we were. "This terrace," he says, "is for jerks! Come on over there!" Then we see that's there's not a soul in the street, because of the heat; no cars, nothing.
-- English translation of above, as published in: Journey to the End of the Night, translated by Ralph Manheim. John Calder (Publishers) Ltd., 1988; revised edition reprinted (with an introduction by André Derval) by Overworld Classics, 2010 and again (with a foreword by John Banville) by Alma Classics Ltd., 2012

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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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