Louis-Ferdinand Céline


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Alma Books Ltd
11 June 2024
ISBN: 9781847499165
192 pages

From the publisher

Translated by Sander Berg

First Ever English Translation of an Unpublished Work by Louis-Ferdinand Céline

The scene opens in a smouldering orchard in Flanders, where the French soldier Ferdinand, shell-shocked, badly wounded and surrounded on all sides by mud, corpses and destruction, tries to find his way to safety and make sense of what has happened to him since he lost consciousness. His hallucinatory wanderings eventually take him to the military hospital of Peurdu-sur-la-Lys. There, after narrowly cheating death, he strikes up a friendship with a Parisian pimp and continues to be confronted with the moral chaos and side effects of war in all their vicious and repulsive senselessness and brutality.

Written around 1934, only a couple of years after Journey to the End of the Night, War shares its protagonist, its setting and many of its themes with Céline's most celebrated novel. Its manuscript, considered lost after being looted during the Liberation of Paris, re-emerged in France in 2020, sparking a frenzy of interest and being hailed as a major rediscovery. Translated now for the first time into English, War is a powerfully vivid, unflinching, darkly comical exploration of the physical and mental trauma of the Western Front, which provides a fascinating missing link in the writing career of one of the greatest – and most controversial – authors of the twentieth century.