Journey to the End of the Night


Journey to the End of the Night

infobox Book |
name = Journey to the End of the Night
title_orig = Voyage au bout de la nuit
translator = John H. P. Marks (1934), Ralph Manheim (1988)


image_caption =
author = Louis-Ferdinand Céline
illustrator =
cover_artist =
country = France
language = French
series =
genre =
publisher =
release_date = 1932
english_release_date =
media_type =
pages =
isbn =
preceded_by =
followed_by =

Journey to the End of the Night ("Voyage au bout de la nuit", 1932) is the first novel of Louis-Ferdinand Céline. This semi-autobiographical work follows antihero Ferdinand Bardamu through his involvement in World War I, colonial Africa, and post-WWI America (where he works for the Ford Motor Company), returning in the second half of the work to France, where he becomes a medical doctor and sets up a practice in a poor Paris suburb, the fictional La Garenne-Rancy. The novel also satirizes the medical profession and the vocation of scientific research. The disparate elements of the work are linked together by recurrent encounters with Léon Robinson, a hapless character whose experiences parallel, to some extent, those of Bardamu.

As its title suggests, "Voyage au bout de la nuit" is a dark, nihilistic novel of savage, exultant misanthropy, leavened, however, with an ebulliently cynical humour. Céline expresses an almost unrelieved pessimism with regard to human nature, human institutions, society, and life in general. Towards the end of the book, the narrator Bardamu, who is working at an insane asylum, remarks:

Literary style

Céline's first novel is perhaps most remarkable for its style. Céline makes extensive use of ellipsis and hyperbole. He also writes with the flow of natural speech patterns and writes in vernacular, while also employing more erudite elements. This influenced French literature considerably. The novel enjoyed popular success and a fair amount of critical acclaim when it was published in October 1932. Albert Thibaudet, perhaps the greatest of the "entre-deux-guerres" critics, said that in January 1933 it was still a common topic of conversation at dinner parties in Paris (Henri Godard, "Notice," in Céline, "Romans", vol. 1 [Paris: Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, 1981] , p. 1262).

Influence and legacy

Kurt Vonnegut cited "Journey" as one of his influences in "Palm Sunday", and Bardamu's misadventures appear to have influenced Joseph Heller's "Catch-22". Charles Bukowski makes reference to "Journey" in a number of his novels and short stories, and employs prose techniques borrowed from Céline. Bukowski once said that "Journey to the End of the Night was the best book written in the last two thousand years." The Doors song "End of the Night" references Céline's work.

Publication history

Jacques Tardi illustrated a 1988 edition with 130 drawings.

*cite book | last = Céline | first = Louis-Ferdinand | coauthors = Manheim, Ralph (translator) | title = Journey to the End of the Night | publisher = New Directions | location = New York | year = 1983 | isbn = 9780811208475
*cite book | last = Céline | first = Louis-Ferdinand | coauthors = Manheim, Ralph (translator) | title = Journey to the End of the Night | publisher = Calder | location = London | year = 1988 | isbn = 9780714541396
*cite book | last = Sturrock | first = John | title = Louis-Ferdinand Celine, Journey to the End of the Night | publisher = Cambridge University Press | location = Cambridge | year = 1990 | isbn = 0521378540
*cite book | last = Céline | first = Louis-Ferdinand | title = Journey to the End of the Night | coauthors = Vollman, William T. (afterword); Manheim, Ralph (translator) | publisher = New Directions | location = New York | year = 2006 | isbn = 9780811216548


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Journey Through the Night — (orig. Dutch: Reis door de nacht ) is a novel, originally in four volumes (1951 1958), by Dutch author Anne de Vries centering on the impact of the Second World War in the Netherlands on a Christian family. It was translated by Harry der… …   Wikipedia

  • Journey to the End of the Night — Álbum de Green Carnation Publicación 28 de mayo de 2000 Grabación 1999 Género(s) Doom metal Metal progresivo …   Wikipedia Español

  • Journey to the End of the Night — ist ein Realitätsspiel: Journey to the End of the Night (Spiel) der englische Titel der Novelle Reise ans Ende der Nacht ein Film von 2006 ein Album der Metal Band Green Carnation Diese Seite ist eine …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Journey to the End of the night — is a 2006 film starring Brendan Fraser. The film is in In a dark and decadent area of São Paulo, the exiled Americans Sinatra and his son Paul own a brothel. Paul is a compulsive gambler addicted in cocaine and his father is married with the… …   Wikipedia

  • Journey to the End of the Night (Spiel) — Journey to the End of the Night ist ein freies Realitätsspiel, das seinen Ursprung in San Francisco hat. Es wurde von der „Playtime Anti boredom Society“ im Jahre 2006 ins Leben gerufen und weltweit von vielen Spielern und Veranstaltern… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • The Night Land —   cover of The Night Land …   Wikipedia

  • The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down — cover Song by The Band Released September 22, 1969 …   Wikipedia

  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time —   …   Wikipedia

  • Journey to the End of the Night (album) — Infobox Album | Name = Journey to the End of the Night Type = studio album Artist = Green Carnation Recorded = July 1999, Studio E Released = May 28, 2000 Genre = Doom metal Progressive metal Length = 70:16 Label = The End Producer = Green… …   Wikipedia

  • Journey to the West — For other uses, see Journey to the West (disambiguation). Journey to the West 西遊記   …   Wikipedia