Louis-Ferdinand Celine Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 106 quotes)
It happened, you see, after the war, when I saw people making money while the others were dying in the trenches. You saw it and you couldn't do anything about it. Then later I was at the League of Nations, and there I saw the light. I really saw the world was ruled by the Golden Calf, by Mammon! Oh, no kidding! Implacably. Social consciousness certainly came to me late.
We went there to grope for our happiness, which all the world was threatening with the utmost ferocity. We were ashamed of wanting what we wanted, but something had to be done about it all the same. Love is harder to give up than life. In this world we spend our time killing or adoring, or both together. "I hate you! I adore you!" We keep going, we fuel and refuel, we pass on our life to a biped of the next century, with frenzy, at any cost, as if it were the greatest of pleasures to perpetuate ourselves, as if, when all's said and done, it would make us immortal. One way or another, kissing is as indispensable as scratching.
In the whole of your absurd past you discover so much that's absurd, so much deceit and credulity, that it might be a good idea to stop being young this minute, to wait for youth to break away from you and pass you by, to watch it going away, receding in the distance, to see all its vanity, run your hand through the empty space it has left behind, take a last look at it, and then start moving, make sure your youth has really gone, and then calmly, all by yourself, cross to the other side of Time to see what people and things really look like.
But when you are week the best way to fortify yourself is to strip the people you fear of the last bit of prestige you’re still inclined to give them. Learn to consider them they are, worse than they are in fact and from every point of view. That will release you, set you free, protect you more than you can possibly imagine. It will give you another self. There will be two of you. That will strip their words and deeds of the obscene mystical fascination that weakens you and makes you waste your time. From then on you’ll find their act no more amusing, no more relevant to your inner progress than that of the lowliest pig.
The best way to make a sort of peace, a fragile armistice to be sure, but precious all the same, with men, officers or not, is to let them bask and wallow in childish self-glorification. There’s no such thing as intelligent vanity. It’s an instinct. And you’ll never find a man who is not first and formenost vain. The role of admiring doormat is about the only one that one man is glad to tolerate in another. With these soldiers I had no need to tax my imagination.
I've never been able to forget the infinite little smile of pure affection that danced across his livid face. Enough gaiety to fill the universe. Few people past twenty preserve any of the affection, the affection of animals. This world isn't what we expected. So our looks change! They change plenty! We made a mistake! And turned into a thorough stinker in next to no time! Past twenty it shows in our face! A mistake! Our face is just a mistake!
Dreams rise in the darkness and catch fire from the mirage of moving light. What happens on the screen isn't quite real; it leaves open a vague cloudy space for the poor, for dreams and the dead. Hurry hurry, cream yourself full of dreams to carry you through the life that's waiting for you outside, when you leave here, to help you last a few days more in that nightmare of things and people. Among the dreams, choose the ones most likely to warm your soul. I have to confess that I picked the sexy ones. No point in being proud; when it comes to miracles, take the ones that will stay with you.
Lili, I think, saw so many human tragedies all around her ... people arranged it between them ... this was what they wanted ... none of her business ... animal miseries were different ... nobody paid any attention, but for her money only the animals counted ... time has passed, water under the bridge ... all in all I'd say she was right ...
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...