By Rosemarie Scullion, Philip H. Solomon, Visit Amazon's Thomas C. Spear Page, search results, Learn about Author Central, Thomas C. Spear,
11 students offer a brand new interpretation of Celine's paintings and its underlying old, cultural, and political matrix.
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Extra info for Céline and the politics of difference
This afternoon I could hardly stand on my left foot because I had such an itch in the sole of the foot, and the forefinger of my right hand is almost paralyzed. (44) Reading these passages, one might (with a bemused grin) conceivably ascribe the detection of Céline's paranoia to a paranoid reaction on the part of Hindus himself or, again, to a shared delirium, une folie à deux. There are, however, sparks of paranoia flickering in the chasm between the text and its interpretation. As such, it is more compelling, from an analytic perspective, to determine how this diagnosis has become, for Hindus and the critics who have followed him, a given on which subsequent readings of Céline's work have been built.
Furthermore, to the degree he finds Céline "crazier than ever" (39), Hindus himself increasingly exhibits symptoms of emotional distress that, at the very least, testify to the considerable interpersonal tensions that surface during the encounter between the two men: I myself have developed a nervous tic in my eye that is quite annoying. (40) The nervous tic in my eye is really bothering me, and I have unaccountable pains in the muscles of my leg and in the fingers of my hand. I wish I were well out of this.
On her eastern borders, Europe's ancient ethnic rivalries are spawning the sorts of enmities with which students of Céline's pamphlets are only all too familiar. This resurgence of overt public expression of ethnic and racial animus 15 that led to such human devastation in the 1930s and 1940s makes the following essays particularly timely. At this project's inception, our principal aim was to foster understanding of the dark energies and animosities spilling over the fault lines of a variety of social distinctions configured in Céline's texts: chiefly the racial and ethnic differences foregrounded in the pamphlets, but also those involving discourses on rationality, gender, and class.