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Signed book

Louis-Ferdinand CELINE Voyage au bout de la nuit

Louis-Ferdinand CELINE

Voyage au bout de la nuit

Denoël & Steele, Paris 1932, 12x19cm, relié.

CéLINE Louis-Ferdinand
Voyage au bout de la nuit
[Journey to the End of the Night] Denoël & Steele, Paris 1932, 120 x 190 mm
(4 3/4 x 7 1/2 ”), full morocco, custom slipcase
Published in the same year as the first.
Red morocco binding by Patrice Goy, spine in six compartments with date at foot, marbled endpapers, covers and spine preserved, top edge gilt, slipcase trimmed with red morocco, marbled paper boards.
Inscribed by Louis-Ferdinand Céline to the movie maker Abel Gance: “à mon ami Abel Gance fidèle dans un voyage autour de tout. LF Destouches [To my friend Abel Gance, faithful in our voyage around everything. LF Destouches].”
A few marginal reader's marks in pencil at end.
A friend of Gance's since 1917, Céline bore him a deep admiration: “In a hundred years, so much more of your films will remain than of my big funerary drum.” The respect was mutual and Gance was the first to envisage a cinematic adaptation of Voyage in November 1932, a project to which Céline became very attached. Abel Gance bought the rights from Denoël for 300,000 francs. An impossible task, he abandoned the project a year later. He was succeeded by Claude Autant-Lara, Michel Audiard, Sergio Leone, Federico Fellini, and François Dupeyron...all of them failed, though not for lack of enthusiasm (“The Voyage is not just a film, it's a duty – we owe the old man everything!” – Audiard) or the efforts of Céline himself. In 1934, he visited Hollywood to “sign an option for six months with Lester Yard...Of all the agents, he seemed the most able, the most cunning”).
As to whether it was a missed opportunity or an impossible challenge, Céline concluded: “I'm leaving nothing to cinema! I've sent it packing...with its shifty melodrama...its simili-sensible! I've managed to capture all the emotion already...” (Entretiens avec le professeur Y). Following this exchange with his inflammatory friend, Abel Gance destroyed a large part of their correspondence, and this inscription thus is one of the rare witnesses of the meeting of two of the pioneers of modern artistic expression.
A fine and unique copy, perfectly presented.                                                                                                                                  


Réf : 34126

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