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|In this novel, Louis-Ferdinand Celine (Journey to the End of the Night, Death on the Installment Plan) offers us a vivid chronicle of a desperate man''s frantic flight from France in the final months of World War II.|
From the Publisher:
North is a vivid chronicle of a desperate man's frantic months of World War II. Accompanied by his wife Lili, their cat Bebert, and an actor friend, our autobiographical narrator Ferdinand leaves Paris for Baden-Baden (a World War II hideaway for wealthy Germans), then is sent to a bombed-out Berlin, and finally leaves in search for gold- gold he stashed in Denmark prior to the war. With the Third Reich in ruins and the Allied armies on Ferdinand's heels, North combines documentary realism with hallucinatory images, capturing the chaos of war and its toll on both victim and victimizer. Ralph Manheim's critically acclaimed translation is followed by a dozen pages of notes on the text.
C?line was educated in Paris, Germany, and England. He worked his way through university as a clerk and errand boy, and was briefly a goldsmith. He qualified as a doctor in 1924, was married twice, and had a daughter. After serving in the World War I cavalry, he practiced medicine most of his life. His first novel, JOURNEY TO THE END OF THE NIGHT, about World War I and its aftermath from the point of view of a young doctor, was published in 1932 and made his reputation as a great new voice in French literature. He worked as a doctor for the League of Nations, as well as in Germany and Denmark during World War II, publishing two pamphlets advocating appeasement and agreeing with Hitler about the Jews. He served one year in prison for collaborating with the Germans, but was pardoned in 1951; C?line was more a sympathizer than an actual collaborator, and in 1957 he published CASTLE TO CASTLE, a blackly comic satire about collaborators. Despite his controversial politics, C?line is valued as an important experimental writer.