> Journey to the End of the Night, Louis-Ferdinand Céline
What is the night? What night is Céline talking about? The night is this current world we live on, this zeitgeist.
In this work, Céline takes the reader through all the horrors of the XX century. At not little important moment in history he was placed: he fought at WW1 at the french side; the final collapse of the old european world, the end of the colonial empires, the triumph of America and the "americanization" of the globe.
In this semi biographical work, Ferdinand Céline through his alter ego Ferdinand Bardamu, narrates in first person his own life and his experiences across the world.
Without thinking much about it, Bardamu ends in the trenches at WW1. Obviously it is not needed to remark that this was hell and war did a number on Bardamu's mind. In Bardamu own words: he was deflowered by war. The experience left him with an immense hate for anything bellicose. There are various scenes that I would like to highlight here:
- A conversation that Bardamu has with a man in a war hospital. This man tells it clearly: when the State kindly whisper to you ear inviting you to join war, that's because they are going to turn you into cannon fodder
- In a conversation Bardamu has with Lola, an american succubus he is dating, he confesses to her that he is utterly afraid of coming back to the front, he is a coward. After that moment, Lola is disgusted with him. All her affection was founded on Bardamu's supposed manliness and will to die fighting. Once he reveals the true, he is worthless for Lola.
- Something that Bardamu or another soldier says: The succubi and the children will keep on living while them will just be buried and forgotten like poor wretches. But he wants to live no matter what.
What's Céline moral of the fable? Sure, the sacrifice of men was needed in order for humanity to advance. But what did the sacrificed men get ? nothing, they are expendable. Céline himself does not want to follow the same path willinglly and finds the sacrifice of war as utter madness
After the turmoil of the war, Bardamu goes to colonial Africa, hoping to "make it" there. What did he find there? An immense jungle devouring the little sprouts of civilization and the poor native people. The colonial empire is filled with corruption and is composed of degenerates and thieves. There is nothing there. The cPost too long. Click here to view the full text.