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North
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About the Author

Louis-Ferdinand Celine (1894-1961) was a French writer and doctor whose novels are antiheroic visions of human suffering. Accused of collaboration with the Nazis, Celine fled France in 1944 first to Germany and then to Denmark. Condemned by default (1950) in France to one year of imprisonment and declared a national disgrace, Celine returned to France after his pardon in 1951, where he continued to write until his death. His classic books include Journey to the End of the Night, Death on the Installment Plan, London Bridge, North, Rigadoon, Conversations with Professor Y, Castle to Castle, and Normance. Ralph Manheim (b. New York, 1907) was an American translator of German and French literature. His translating career began with a translation of Mein Kempf in which Manheim set out to reproduce Hitler's idiosyncratic, often grammatically aberrant style. In collaboration with John Willett, Manheim translated the works of Bertolt Brecht. The Pen/Ralph Manheim Medal for translation, inaugurated in his name, is a major lifetime achievement award in the field of translation. He himself won its predecessor, the PEN translation prize, in 1964. Manheim died in Cambridge in 1992. He was 85.

Reviews

Celine, for all his garrulous ranting, was one of the most important voices in modern French fiction, and his influence on American as well as French novelists cannot be underestimated. [North] has already received favorable criticism in this country, and this excellent translation will undoubtedly increase Celine's public here.
Well worth reading by any student of the last days of the German Reich.
North slams across our imminent fin-de-siecle pieties as a raw and dangerous abomination . . . Simply as the tale of a picaresque ordeal . . . North is fascinating and fizzy, but what makes it so potent as a document is the 'remarkable sensibility' that Gide commended. The prose has a dense inconsecutiveness brought about in part by Celine's favorite device of the three dots . . . (which both invite you on and trip you up), but also by his flair for letting his imagination range further than his analytical mind wants to go.

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