2621 Slices
Medium 9781847772268

Not Enough Room to Swing a Cat

Ward, David C. Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF
Medium 9781857547658

Candour and Hygiene: Louis-Ferdinand Céline

Iain Bamforth Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

Candour and Hygiene

L-F C

M. Céline scandalise. A ceci, rien à dire, puisque

Dieu l’a visiblement fait pour ça.

Georges Bernanos, 

Louis-Ferdinand Auguste Destouches was born in , the year of the Dreyfus affair, in Courbevoie, an old working class area on the fringes of the Seine which has been wrenched out of recognition by Mitterrand’s city-planners’ grandiose schemes for the mini-Manhattan that now blocks the western skyline of Paris intramuros. His parents were hard-working petits commerçants who aspired to middle-class respectability but lived in fear of poverty. Theirs was the tormented sense of place in the economic pecking order that has always afflicted the petty bourgeoisie, deprived of the consolations of working-class solidarity and driven to aspire to a style of leisured living that, in truth, is alien to them. The family stares into the camera in a rare photo: father plump, bombastic moustache, a hail-fellow-well-met air about him; mother severe and thin-lipped, her right hand keeping her son in place. The older the son became the more he acquired of his mother’s animosities and dislikes: he must have caught something from her, the pinchfaced woman whom he remembered sitting in her little lacemaker’s shop in the Passage Choiseul facing ‘a mountain of work that would bring in only a few francs. It never ended. She had to do it so we could eat. It gave me nightmares, and her too. I’ve never forgotten it. Like her, I come to my desk and see a huge pile waiting for me – a pile of Horror that I have to mend before being done with everything.’ His writing is, above all, a laden monument to the class resentment that ate her away, and perhaps even to the injustice she felt at being born a woman. It was the maternal name,

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Medium 9781847771346


Julith Jedamus Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF
Medium 9781847770974

100 incitement?

Gallas, John Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF
Medium 9781847770684

The Nature of Tragedy

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

The Nature of Tragedy

We will the tragedy upon

Ourselves. There is more suffering

In watching jealousy or grief

Move to completion in a life

Not ours, than in the offering

To have the entire burden on

Our hearts and feel the pain within.

How can the senses play their part

In Hamlet’s hesitation or

Othello at the bedroom door

Consumed entirely by the heart?

Feelings are forced that are not used

Upon their own occasion and,

Close to a tragedy, at most

We only move it through the mind.

O we should stride upon the stage,

Not stand to watch and cogitate

And change the hero and his rage

Into a merely mental state.

We must set free the mind, enlarge

Our thoughts until we cannot tell

What we most nearly, deeply feel

From what we carefully contemplate.

Perhaps the deeper tragedy

Is then the inability

To change a thought into emotion

And still to be an onlooker

When all else passes by in passion.

O could we smooth that conflict out

We might know tragedy entire

And reach into the heart of it,

Where there is neither anger nor

Grief nor jealousy nor hate –

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