September 24, 2008

Death on the Installment Plan, in its unexpurgated version

Céline begins to write in 1932 Death on the Installment Plan, his second and autobiographical novel. But the book is not published by Denoël until 1936. The redaction is laborious. After Journey to the End of The Night, Céline cleans his style, focuses on rhythm. He describes, in a chaotic and burlesque tone, his childhood memories in a family torn apart. The violence of the book pushes Denoël to released a bowdlerized version, without the passages judged detrimental for decency. Only the edition "off trade", a total of 117 copies, provides the full text. The release of the novel is not successful and is even criticized by supporters of Journey to the End of The Night.
Yet it is with Death on the Installment Plan that borns this special and typical technique of the author, made up of short sentences, where punctuation, between exclamation and suspension, give the pace.
(source :

Currently , The Librairie Loliée offers :
  • Céline (Louis-Ferdinand). Mort à crédit (Death on the Installment Plan). Paris, Denoël et Steele, 1936, in-8, bounded in a full purple levant (Huser). One of the 22 first copies, off trade, on Japan paper. This copy contains an autograph page of the novel's manuscript, with erasures and corrections.