Quotes from Death on the Installment Plan

Louis-Ferdinand Céline ·  592 pages

Rating: (5.7K votes)


“My trouble is insomnia. If I had always slept properly, I'd never have written a line.”
― Louis-Ferdinand Céline, quote from Death on the Installment Plan


“Maybe I'd never see him again... maybe he'd gone for good... swallowed up, body and soul, in the kind of stories you hear about... Ah, it's an awful thing... and being young doesn't help any... when you notice for the first time... the way you lose people as you go along ... the buddies you'll never see again... never again... when you notice that they've disappeared like dreams... that it's all over... finished... that you too will get lost someday... a long way off but inevitably... in the awful torrent of things and people... of the days and shapes... that pass... that never stop...”
― Louis-Ferdinand Céline, quote from Death on the Installment Plan


“The main thing isn't knowing whether you're right or wrong. That really doesn't matter...The main thing is to keep people from bothering you...The rest is eyewash...”
― Louis-Ferdinand Céline, quote from Death on the Installment Plan


“I wish the storm would make even more of a clatter, I wish the roofs would cave in, that spring would never come again, and that the house would blow down.”
― Louis-Ferdinand Céline, quote from Death on the Installment Plan


“What can it matter to you? You just drift along. You don't give a good godamm about the universal consequences that can flow from our most trifling acts, our most unforeseen thoughts . . . It's no skin off your ass . . . You're caulked . . . hermetically sealed . . . Nothing means anything to you . . . Am I right? Nothing. Eat! Drink! Sleep! Up there as cozy as you please . . . All warm and comfy on my couch . . . You've got everything you want . . . You wallow in well-being . . . the earth rolls on . . . How? Why? A staggering miracle . . . how it moves . . . the profound mystery of it . . . toward an infinite unforeseeable goal . . . in the sky all scintillating with comets . . . all unknown . . . from one rotation to the next . . . Each second is the culmination and also the prelude of an eternity of other miracles . . . of impenetrable wonders, thousands of them, Ferdinand! Millions! billions of trillions of years! . . . And you? What are you doing in the midst of this cosmologonic whirl? this vast sidereal wonder? Just tell me that! You eat! You fill your belly! You sleep! You don't give a damn . . . That's right! Salad! Swiss cheese! Sapience! Turnips! Everything! You wallow in your own muck! You'll loll around, befouled! Glutted! Satisfied! You don't ask for anything more! You pass through the stars . . . as if they were raindrops in May! . . . God, you amaze me, Ferdinand! Do you really think this can go on forever? . . ."

I didn't say a word . . . I had no set opinion about the stars or the moon, but I had one about him, the bastard. And the stinker knew it.”
― Louis-Ferdinand Céline, quote from Death on the Installment Plan



“The main thing isn't knowing whether you're right or wrong. That really doesn't matter. The main thing is to keep people from bothering you.”
― Louis-Ferdinand Céline, quote from Death on the Installment Plan


“That's the hatred that kills you. There'll be more of it, so deep and thick there will always be some left, enough to go around...it will ooze out over the earth...and poison it, so nothing will grow but viciousness, among the dead, among men.”
― Louis-Ferdinand Céline, quote from Death on the Installment Plan


“You haven’t always been the mug you are today, bogged down by circumstances, work, and thirst, the most disastrous of servitudes … Do you think that, just for a moment, you can revive the poetry in you? … are your heart and cock still capable of leaping to the words of an epic, sad to be sure, but noble … resplendent? You feel up to it?”
― Louis-Ferdinand Céline, quote from Death on the Installment Plan


“Take Marcus Aurelius! That's right! What did that old bugger do? In very similar situations! Harassed! Maligned! Transduced! On the brink of succumbing under the welter if abject plots... of murderous perfidies!... He withdrew, Ferdinand!... He abandoned the steps of the Forum to the jackals! Yes! In solitude! In exile! That's where he sought his balm! That's where he found new courage!... That's right!... He took counsel on himself! And no one else!... He didn't ask the mad dogs for their opinion!... No! Faugh!... Ah, despicable recantation!...”
― Louis-Ferdinand Céline, quote from Death on the Installment Plan


“Je pourrais moi dire toute ma haine. Je sais. Je le ferai plus tard s'ils
ne reviennent pas. J'aime mieux raconter des histoires. J'en raconterai de telles qu'ils reviendront, exprès, pour me tuer, des quatre coins du monde. Alors ce sera fini et je serai bien content.”
― Louis-Ferdinand Céline, quote from Death on the Installment Plan



“There's something very pleasant about a language you don't understand... It's like a fog swirling around in our thoughts... It's nice, it's like a dream, there's really nothing better... It's fine as long as the words stay in the dream...”
― Louis-Ferdinand Céline, quote from Death on the Installment Plan


“Dès que dans l'existence ça va un tout petit peu mieux, on ne pense plus qu'aux saloperies.”
― Louis-Ferdinand Céline, quote from Death on the Installment Plan


“Câtă tristețe… cât de zadarnică îți pare tinerețea când îți dai seama pentru prima oară… câți oameni ai uitat pe drum… prieteni pe care n-ai să-i mai revezi… pierduți fără urmă, ca-n vis… dispăruți… așa cum ai să dispari și tu într-o zi… Într-o zi care e încă departe… dar care va veni oricum… adusă de vârtejul acesta blestemat al lucrurilor… al oamenilor… al zilelor… forme care trec… fără să se oprească vreodată. Toți imbecilii, pârliții, curioșii, toate paiațele care bat drumul pe sub arcade, cu lornioane, umbrele și căței legați de sfoară… n-ai să-i mai revezi pe nici unul… Se îndepărtează… ca-n vis… alături de ceilalți… la grămadă… se duc… ce tristețe!... câtă infamie!... Neștiutori, trec ștergându-se de vitrine… o poftă nebună mă apucă… un impuls de care mă înfior, să le sar de gât… să mă înfig în fața lor… să nu se mai miște… să înțepenească așa!... o dată pentru totdeauna!... Să nu-i mai văd cum se duc.”
― Louis-Ferdinand Céline, quote from Death on the Installment Plan


“Leer a Céline presupone enfrentarse a una reducida pero intensa e insistente constelación de sombras fantasmales que, situadas entre el lector y el texto,”
― Louis-Ferdinand Céline, quote from Death on the Installment Plan


“Тежко е да нямаш друг освен шефа си като за духовно и материално утешение, особено ако той е психиатър и не си много сигурен в собствената си глава.”
― Louis-Ferdinand Céline, quote from Death on the Installment Plan



“My mother would offer a selection of his watercolors to the peddlers at lunch hour ... She did all she could to keep me alive, I just shouldn't have been born.”
― Louis-Ferdinand Céline, quote from Death on the Installment Plan


“Dos años más tarde estalla la Primera Guerra Mundial, en la que Louis-Ferdinand participa con su regimiento en las cruentas batallas de las fronteras de Flandes. En una misión para la que se había presentado voluntario es herido”
― Louis-Ferdinand Céline, quote from Death on the Installment Plan


About the author

Louis-Ferdinand Céline
Born place: in Courbevoie, France
Born date May 27, 1894
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