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Louis-Ferdinand Céline quotes (showing 1-30 of 333)

“I have never voted in my life... I have always known and understood that the idiots are in a majority so it's certain they will win.”
Louis-Ferdinand Céline
“To hell with reality! I want to die in music, not in reason or in prose. People don't deserve the restraint we show by not going into delirium in front of them. To hell with them!”
Louis-Ferdinand Céline
“The worst part is wondering how you’ll find the strength tomorrow
to go on doing what you did today and have been doing for much
too long, where you’ll find the strength for all that stupid running around, those projects that come to nothing, those attempts to escape from crushing necessity, which always founder and serve only to convince you one more time that destiny is implacable, that every night will find you down and out, crushed by the dread of more and more sordid and insecure tomorrows. And maybe it’s treacherous old age coming on, threatening the worst. Not much music left inside us for life to dance to. Our youth has gone to the ends of the earth to die in the silence of the truth. And where, I ask you, can a man escape to, when he hasn’t enough madness left inside him? The truth is an endless death agony. The truth is death. You have to choose: death or lies. I’ve never been able to kill myself.”
Louis-Ferdinand Céline
“The sadness of the world has different ways of getting to people, but it seems to succeed almost every time.”
Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Journey to the End of the Night
“An unfamiliar city is a fine thing. That's the time and place when you can suppose that all the people you meet are nice. It's dream time. ”
Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Journey to the End of the Night
“There's no tyrant like a brain. ”
Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Journey to the End of the Night
“Not much music left inside us for life to dance to. Our youth has gone to the ends of the earth to die in the silence of the truth. And where, I ask you, can a man escape to, when he hasn't enough madness left inside him? The truth is an endless death agony. The truth is death. You have to choose: death or lies. I've never been able to kill myself.”
Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Journey to the End of the Night
“There is something sad about people going to bed. You can see they don’t give a damn whether they’re getting what they want out of life or not, you can see they don’t ever try to understand what we’re here for. They just don’t care. Americans or not, they sleep no matter what, they’re bloated mollusks, no sensibility, no trouble with their conscience.
I’d seen too many troubling things to be easy in my mind. I knew too much and not enough. I’d better go out, I said to myself, I’d better go out again. Maybe I’ll meet Robinson. Naturally that was an idiotic idea, but I dreamed it up as an excuse for going out again, because no matter how I tossed and turned on my narrow bed, I couldn’t snatch the tiniest scrap of sleep. Even masturbation, at times like that, provides neither comfort nor entertainment. Then you're really in despair.”
Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Journey to the End of the Night
“If you aren't rich you should always look useful.”
Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Journey to the End of the Night
“My trouble is insomnia. If I had always slept properly, I'd never have written a line.”
Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Death on the Installment Plan
“Why kid ourselves, people have nothing to say to one another, they all talk about their own troubles and nothing else. Each man for himself, the earth for us all. They try to unload their unhappiness on someone else when making love, they do their damnedest, but it doesn't work, they keep it all, and then they start all over again, trying to find a place for it. "Your pretty, Mademoiselle," they say. And life takes hold of them again until the next time, and then they try the same little gimmick. "You're very pretty, Mademoiselle..."

And in between they boast that they've succeeded in getting rid of their unhappiness, but everyone knows it's not true and they've simply kept it all to themselves. Since at the little game you get uglier and more repulsive as you grow older, you can't hope to hide your unhappiness, your bankruptcy, any longer. In the end your features are marked with that hideous grimace that takes twenty, thrity years or more to climb form your belly to your face. That's all a man is good for, that and no more, a grimace that he takes a whole lifetime to compose. The grimace a man would need to express his true soul without losing any of it is so heavy and complicated that he doesn't always succeed in completing it.”
Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Journey to the End of the Night
“As long as we're young, we manage to find excuses for the stoniest indifference, the most blatant caddishness, we put them down to emotional eccentricity or some sort of romantic inexperience. But later on, when life shows us how much cunning, cruelty, and malice are required just to keep the body at ninety-eight point six, we catch on, we know the scene, we begin to understand how much swinishness it takes to make up a past. Just take a close look at yourself and the degree of rottenness you've come to. There's no mystery about it, no more room for fairy tales; if you've lived this long, it's because you've squashed any poetry you had in you.”
Louis-Ferdinand Céline
“Lots of men are like that, their artistic leanings never go beyond a weakness for shapely thighs.”
Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Journey to the End of the Night
“That is perhaps what we seek throughout life, that and nothing more, the greatest possible sorrow so as to become fully ourselves before dying.”
Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Journey to the End of the Night
“so many vaginas, stomachs, cocks, snouts, and flies you don't know what to do with them ... shovelsfull! ... but hearts? ... very rare! in the last five hundred million years too many cocks and gastric tubes to count ... but hearts? ... on your fingers! ...”
Louis-Ferdinand Céline, North
“When it becomes really impossible to get away and sleep, then the will to live evaporates of its own accord.”
Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Journey to the End of the Night
“I crawled back into myself all alone, just delighted to observe that I was even more miserable than before, because I had brought a new kind of distress and something that resembled true feeling into my solitude.”
Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Journey to the End of the Night
“The plain truth, I may as well admit it, is that I've never been really right in the head.”
Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Journey to the End of the Night
“The beginning of genius is being scared shitless.”
Louis-Ferdinand Céline, The Church: A Comedy in Five Acts
“Maybe I'd never see him again... maybe he'd gone for good... swallowed up, body and soul, in the kind of stories you hear about... Ah, it's an awful thing... and being young doesn't help any... when you notice for the first time... the way you lose people as you go along ... the buddies you'll never see again... never again... when you notice that they've disappeared like dreams... that it's all over... finished... that you too will get lost someday... a long way off but inevitably... in the awful torrent of things and people... of the days and shapes... that pass... that never stop...”
Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Death on the Installment Plan
“I warn you that when the princes of this world start loving you it means they are going to grind you up into battle sausage.”
Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Journey to the End of the Night
“An Immense hatred keeps me alive... i would live for a thousand years if i were certain of seeing the whole world croak.”
Louis-Ferdinand Céline
“You can lose your way groping among the shadows of the past.”
Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Journey to the End of the Night
tags: past
“Love is like liquor, the drunker and more impotent you are, the stronger and smarter you think yourself and the surer you are of your rights.”
Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Journey to the End of the Night
tags: 64, love
“There's something sad about people going to bed. You can see they don't give a damn whether they're getting what they want out of life or not, you can see they don't even try to understand what we're here for. They just don't care.”
Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Journey to the End of the Night
“You can lose your way groping among the shadows of the past. It's frightening how many people and things there are in a man's past that have stopped moving. The living people we've lost in the crypts of time sleep so soundly side by side with the dead that the same darkness envelops them all.

As we grow older, we no longer know whom to awaken, the living or the dead.”
Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Journey to the End of the Night
“...the new world, the communo-bourgeois, sermonizing, Tartuffian, automobilistic, alcoholic, gluttonous and cancerous world has only two anxieties: ass and bank account...”
Louis-Ferdinand Céline
“I hadn't found out yet that mankind consists of two very different races, the rich and the poor. It took me ... and plenty of other people . . . twenty years and the war to learn to stick to my class and ask the price of things before touching them, let alone setting my heart on them.”
Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Journey to the End of the Night
tags: poor, rich
“When you stop to examine the way in which our words are formed and uttered, our sentences are hard-put to it to survive the disaster of their slobbery origins. The mechanical effort of conversation is nastier and more complicated than defecation. That corolla of bloated flesh, the mouth, which screws itself up to whistle, which sucks in breath, contorts itself, discharges all manner of viscous sounds across a fetid barrier of decaying teeth—how revolting! Yet that is what we are adjured to sublimate into an ideal. It's not easy. Since we are nothing but packages of tepid, half-rotted viscera, we shall always have trouble with sentiment. Being in love is nothing, its sticking together that's difficult. Feces on the other hand make no attempt to endure or grow. On this score we are far more unfortunate than shit; our frenzy to persist in ourpresent state—that's the unconscionable torture.
Unquestionably we worship nothing more divine than our smell. All our misery comes from wanting at all costs to go on being Tom, Dick, or Harry, year in year out. This body of ours, this disguise put on by common jumping molecules, is in constant revolt against the abominable farce of having to endure. Our molecules, the dears, want to get lost in the universe as fast as they can! It makes them miserable to be nothing but 'us,' the jerks of infinity. We'd burst if we had the courage, day after day we come very close to it. The atomic torture we love so is locked up inside us by our pride.”
Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Journey to the End of the Night
“When men can hate without risk, their stupidity is easily convinced, the motives supply themselves.”
Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Journey to the End of the Night

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