Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Auxetophone Sound Stamp

So you say, "You'll have a car!" Not so! The car is
a fatso, a half-hearse for has-beens! I won't hearse
around! It's the "Imponder" for me! no other! A
patient phones? I fly! all reflex! calves! lungs like
a forge! I care for myself while caring for others!
One visit, two healthy specimens! the panacea
cycle! you wouldn't believe the rheumatism I suffer
from! they have no name for such pain! I won't
even tell you about it! the elbows, the ankles like
they were in clamps! as if they wanted to get a
confession out of me...a super-fanatic executioner
who breaks his pincers on my knees!...Oh, but just
do a little sports! a cinch! In the open air I'm thirty
years old again! and with altruistic enthusiasm!
   On the bike I'm a more presentable kind of nut-
case! you get a look at me, the patrician! rejuven-
ation through zeal! brimming with health! taking
care of business! ardor! reflection! heart! a new
man!

From Céline's
Fable for Another Time
Translation Mary Hudson

Monday, 30 July 2012

Céline, Meudon ca.1959
                               
if they leave me in peace even just a tiny bit, right
away an anecdote pops into my head...I play
around with it and I have a good chuckle...If they
just didn't howl so much all around me...I grab my
writing stuff and get to work!...This Fable that
you're gonna treat yourself to, because, you see,
everything's ready!...printers, bookstores, whole-
salers, book stands!...and of course my royalties,
in advance! oh, implacable I am! to hell with the
sweet talk!...dollars or rubles, depends! From now
on I accept only the victors' currency! Ah, you'll
see me living the high life again! dressed to the
nines! suit jackets of such distinction! turned out
like a shah! the nails done! The pirates grabbed
everything I had, I was telling you, all my stuff,
outfits, equipment, real estate! It was wild back
then! So Fable has to sell! I boom again! Excuse
me, a new man! the hash I made of everything?
who cares? You'll be flabbergasted! on your ass!
the battery of kitchen utensils! my drawing rooms!
my pretty little chambermaids to open the door!
and the bike that's so light it almost glides forward
without me, at the mere suspicion that I might want
to straddle it!...the brand: the "Imponder"...faster
than Arlette in a sprint! Wait'll you see me!...
Arlette, who's a sylph on the pedals!...From 
Trinité to Montmartre: seven strides! a breeze...
that's her! a breath of air and she's gone! and that's
uphill!

From Céline's
Fable for Another Time
Translation Mary Hudson

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Apple Hamburg  

You're gonna tell me: It doesn't snow every day!...
about like it rains in Rouen, more or less!..
defrosting is one thing...but when I tremble I gotta
burst out laughing...a little story pops into my head
...I'm shivering, I take advantage of the situation! I
imagine a quid pro quo!...a funny situation...if I
guffaw a bit too loud, the screw comes in, he
doesn't like to see me laughing...he gestures that
he's gonna shoot me...so I go "shit"...he locks the
door again...he doesn't get "shit"...that's another
blessing! Besides, I can always laugh all by
myself...even without being too cold...it's the
screamers that stop me...the banshees to the right
of me, banshees to the left of me!...

From Céline's
Fable for Another Time
Translation Mary Hudson

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Accidental  #1

...And besides, I'm gifted in another way, with
a sort of personal blessing!...the kind of nervous
system I got, when I'm cold, when I shiver like
anybody else, I laugh!...I can't help it...it's just the
way it works with me...I'm not bragging...I'm not
bluffing anyone, I'm alone...When you're "cond-
emned to death" you're alone...all in individual
cells...they let you out ten minutes in the air, in
little cages...you go back inside, I told you all
this, you're a snowman...takes you an hour, an
hour and a half to defrost...

From Céline's
Fable for Another Time
Translation Mary Hudson

Friday, 27 July 2012

Abstain  

The most rebarbative, stubborn of this particular
audience are the morphine, cocaine, ether addicts!
...those guys are really obtuse, ugly, uncivilized...
epileptics of crime!...they hate you for making
them laugh...they aim for you with murder on their
minds...the puny bastards - with the strength of
Hercules - their jug right at your puss! and craack!
smithereens! they miss you by a whisker!...and
then later they have a go at themselves under the
covers gashing away with the shards!...you
wonder what the fuck they're fucking!...they're
slashing their veins!...gluttons for funishment!
...Their mattress a blood soaked sponge!...but
it's my job after all...an MD's an MD, after
all!...no particular merit in that, the afflicted,
the desperate, there my vocation!

From Céline's
Fable for Another Time
Translation Mary Hudson

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Liberty Klee

-Your right, your right! I whimper, but I'm spoiled!
but were you there, in Claunau?...My ass you were!
doesn't stop you screeching your fucking lungs out
as if you were the first one in and the last one out!
-And in Brazzaville? And Chad? you weren't there
slogging away? and with such mosquitoes buzzing
around, madame! the lepers! the amoeba! the tsetse
flies! buffalo everywhere! crocodiles! and vamp-
ires!...While we're at it, I didn't see you in
Cameroon! What would you know, sweetie, of
such prodigious acts of valor? and not of recent
date! donkeys years! you have no idea! You
weren't even born yet! 17! Ha! it was us booted
out the Krauts that time! in 120 degrees in the
shade! oh,la,la and in white helmets! Bobillot
was my hero!

From Céline's
Fable for Another Time
Translation Mary Hudson

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

 Dora Maar Stamp

Hey, I don't want to make you sad! I was telling
you about the casino, misshapen, funny place...
a whole world!...and from 1900!...shoulda seen
its cloakroom!...parasols everywhere!...all for-
gotten now!...and the lorgnettes and the spyglasses!
...real eye-catches!...skeletons of "lost children"...
little flags from the "Russian Alliance"! all over
the place!...paper streamers as far as the eye could
see...all kinds of mustaches...gaulois, "William,"
Chaplinesque, what a fandango that was! two
white burnous, three soutanes, four nannies!...

From Céline's
Fable for Another Time
Translation Mary Hudson

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Louis-Ferdinand Céline  1915

Every bit of that bay is dear to me, the bells and
the ruins, and the belfry that's gone now and the
Corsairs' palaces...Ah, I suspected as much, all
right...we all did...things of such Grandeur are
jinxed...I can still hear the "Achtung" alerts!...
a sort of giant phonograph. We had one of them
on our roof...never stopped, night or day...Bébert
spent hours under it...he wanted to figure it out...
of course it happened finally! everything was
blasted, crushed to bits, in flames sky high!...I'd
be surprised if old René, his coffin, his cradle,
his cherished memories, didn't all go crackling
up in smoke! passed into dust!

From Céline's
Fable for Another Time
Translation Mary Hudson

Sunday, 22 July 2012

The Shard

Base area of the The Shard
South London, Summer 2012
Photo: Ray Wallis