The Life of Celine
A Critical Biography
By (author) Nicholas Hewitt
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Life of Celine by Nicholas Hewitt
Book DescriptionLouis-Ferdinand Celine was one of the foremost European writers of the twentieth century, the author of ten novels of undeniable stature and importance. Yet his life and work remain relatively unknown outside France, obscured by his reputation as a violent anti-semite during the 1930s and the Occupation, when he became a leading figure in collaborationist circles. Nicholas Hewitt's important new biography explores its controversial subject's life and work through the places and times in which he lived and in which he grounded his fiction. Celine was brought up in the old center of Paris during its last years, in the Belle Epoque, the only son of petit-bourgeois parents. He later worked as a doctor in the capital's impoverished industrial suburbs, breeding ground during the inter-war years for political militancy of Right and Left. Both episodes feature powerfully in his fictions and are crucial to our understanding of the man. Hewitt pulls no punches in recounting the violence and vile extremity of Celine's anti-semitic politics. At the same time he positions his subject in a wider cultural context and milieu. The legacy of post-Napoleonic Romanticism and its importance to French intellectual life in the 1920s are traced in absorbing detail, as is the history of French modernist fiction and the key role played in its development by Marcel Proust. Hewitt provides a fascinating account, especially of Montmartre, where Celine lived, between the wars, and its Bohemian culture, in which engagement in artistic experiment often went hand in hand with reactionary politics. No less fascinatingly he pursues Celine through the murky world of Occupied Paris, on to his retreat to Germany with the Vichy Government, and his subsequent imprisonment and exile in Denmark, before he was allowed to return to live in obscurity in France for the remaining years of his life. This invaluable book not only assesses the life and work of one of Europe's most important and innovative writers, it also casts revealing light on crucial areas of French cultural, social, and political history.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780631176152
(234mm x 159mm x 33mm)
Imprint: Blackwell Publishers
Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Publish Date: 1-Nov-1998
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Nicholas Hewitt
Cambridge Companion to Modern French Culture, Paperback (September 2003)
This 2003 volume is an invaluable source of materials for courses on all aspects of modern France.
France and the Mass Media, Hardback (June 1991)
Focusing on the mass media and a range of popular cultural forms, this work examines French culture since 1945. As well as looking at radio, television and popular song, this volume highlights how the French themselves have responded to the growing importance of mass media in postwar France.
Golden Age of Louis-Ferdinand Celine, Hardback (June 1987)» View all books by Nicholas Hewitt
Examines Celine's entire oeuvre of the interwar years and the occupation, and places it in the literary and intellectual context of contemporary France.
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Author Biography - Nicholas Hewitt
Nicholas Hewitt is Professor of French at the University of Nottingham, and has taught previously at the universities of Hull, Southampton and Warwick. He has written widely on French literary and cultural history from the end of the First World War to the 1960s, including studies on Troyat, French interwar "malaise," Celine, and the postwar French literary Right.
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