Real Youth Consists in Loving the Whole World

Photo by Weegee: Coney Island Crowd, 1940

Really the poor get younger inside as they go on, rather than otherwise, and towards the end, as long as they have tried to rid themselves on the way of all the lies and timidity and unworthy eagerness to obey which they were given at birth, actually they’re less unpleasant than when they started. The rest of what exists on earth is not for them! It’s no concern of theirs. Their job, their only job, is to overcome that feeling of obedience, to spew it out. If they can manage that before they’re altogether dead, then they can boast of not having lived in vain.

Real youth consists in loving the whole world without distinction; that is the only thing that’s young and new. And can you say that you know many young people who are sound enough to do that?

Louis-Ferdinand Céline
Journey to the End of the Night (1932)

Photo by Weegee: Coney Island Crowd, 1940

On Posterity

Posterity of Butterflies

Those who talk about the future are scoundrels. It is the present that matters. To evoke one’s posterity is to make a speech to maggots.

Louis-Ferdinand Céline
Journey to the End of the Night (1932)

Painting by Mihai Criste: Posterity of Butterflies (2010)

Stop Making Sense

Céline à Meudon c.  1960

ROGER SHACKLEFORTH: I don’t think you’re making any sense at all.

PROFESSOR A. DAEMON: My boy, that’s all I make. Which is why I’m such a lonely man.

From Robert Presnell Jr.’s teleplay The Chaser, on The Twilight Zone (1960)

Photo: Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Meudon, c. 1960

On Keeping Love in Reserve

Sacred Heart

When we walked through busy streets together, people turned around to pity the blind man. People have pity in them for the infirm and the blind, they really have love in reserve. There’s an enormous lot of it, and no one can say different. But it’s a shame that people should go on being so crummy with so much love in reserve. It just doesn’t come out, that’s all. It’s caught inside and there it stays, it doesn’t do them a bit of good. They die of love – inside.

Louis-Ferdinand Céline
Journey to the End of the Night (1932)

On the Moral Superiority of the Rich

Toads of Property

The rich don’t need to kill to eat. They give employment to people, as the saying goes. They don’t do the hurt themselves. They just fork it out. Everything is done to please them and everyone’s perfectly happy.

Louis-Ferdinand Céline
Journey to the End of the Night (1932)

Drawing by George Grosz: Toads of Property (1920)

Related: On the Moral Superiority of the Poor