CÚline and the Politics of Difference

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Rosemarie Scullion, Philip H. Solomon, Thomas C. Spear
UPNE, Dec 31, 1994 - Literary Criticism - 264 pages
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For decades Louis-Ferdinand Celine has been viewed in terms of a stark critical polarity: is he the consummate stylist and iconoclast who assailed bourgeois literary norms in his novels, or the abhorrent racist who authored maliciously anti-Semitic, misogynist pamphlets that endorsed authoritarianism? The answer has been obscured by critical evaluations that traditionally drew attention away from Celine's often blatantly exclusionary discourse. This collection cuts through the mythos of literary style to investigate the constructs of race, class, ethnicity, and gender in the whole of Celine's oeuvre. Essays examine the much-debated topic of his sanity, the political context of his writing, the role of the female body in his fiction, the place of historicism and politics in a critical reinterpretation of his canon, and his relationship with contemporaries like Sartre and Renoir. By looking at Celine's essentializing notions readers come to a clearer understanding of how his "surly, often outrageous discourses on human difference mirror the hierarchies of value and relations of dominance" characteristic of his culture. That mirror, Scullion suggests, reflects an oddly conformist stance for a self-styled maverick like Celine.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
A Clinical or a Critical Case?
13
Sources and Quotations in Celines Bagatelles pour un massacre
29
Celines Masquerade
64
Just an Individual?
84
Virility and the Jewish Invasion
98
The ConQuest of the Other
120
Postmodern Celine
203
Notes
216
Works Cited
243
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