By Henri Godard
« Céline est un grand écrivain, mais ce n'est pas un écrivain comme les autres. Il m'arrive aujourd'hui encore, en lisant un des "contre-Céline" qui se publient périodiquement, de me demander remark j'ai pu consacrer tant d'années à éditer et à explorer l'œuvre d'un auteur aussi controversé et, en effet, aussi problématique... »
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Additional info for À travers Céline, la littérature
Art is a veritable transmutation of substance. By it, substance is spiritualized and physical surroundings dematerialized in order to refract essence, that is, the quality of an original world. ” As the quality of a world, essence is never to be confused with an object but on the contrary brings together two quite different objects, concerning which we in fact perceive that they have this quality in the revealing medium. At the same time that essence is incarnated in a substance, the ultimate quality constituting it is therefore expressed as the quality common to two different objects, kneaded in this luminous substance, plunged into this refracting medium.
But above all, once we have received from art the final revelation, how will this revelation react on the other realms and become the center of a system that leaves nothing outside itself? Essence is always an artistic essence.
What is important is that the hero does not know certain things at the start, gradually learns them, and finally receives an ultimate revelation. Necessarily then, he suffers disappointments: he “believed,” he suffered under illusions; the world vacillates in the course of apprenticeship. And still we give a linear character to the development of the Search. As a matter of fact, a certain partial revelation appears in a certain realm of signs, but it is sometimes accompanied by regressions in other realms, it is drowned in a more general disappointment or even reappears elsewhere, always fragile, as long as the revelation of art has not systematized the whole.