Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Indigenous peoples: Fighting discrimination

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

From Turkey to Iran: (re)inventing kebab

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Paleontologist Kenneth Lacovara: ‘Dinosaurs were the last great champions’

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Alan Turing's nephew: ‘A Shakespearean tragedy surrounded his life’

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Zimbabwe: Chamisa's lawyers contest election results in court

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

New US sanctions on Iran: Trump ups pressure after exiting nuclear deal

Read more

IN THE PRESS

‘Space Farce’? Alternative logos for new US military branch flood social media

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Zambia accused of illegal handover of Zimbabwean opposition figure

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

#MyCameraIsMyWeapon campaign takes on Iran's mandatory hijab law

Read more

Culture

Row erupts over revered French writer Céline's anti-Semitic essays

© LIONEL BONAVENTURE / AFP | A picture taken on June 17, 2011 at Paris's Drouot auction house, shows posters and pictures of French novelist Louis-Ferdinand Céline, during an auction marking the 50th anniversary of the writer's death.

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2018-01-07

The planned publication of anti-Semitic pamphlets written by revered novelist Louis-Ferdinand Céline has sparked a fierce row in France, with Prime Minister Edouard Philippe weighing in on the debate in favour of their release.

Three racist 1930s texts by Céline are set to appear in a volume by leading French publishing house Gallimard in May, sparking angry calls for the book to be banned.

Philippe said Sunday he thought the pamphlets should be published, but only alongside a carefully composed critical and contextual commentary.

"I am not afraid of these pamphlets' publication, but they must be thoughtfully accompanied," the prime minister said in an interview with French weekly the Journal du Dimanche.

"There are very good reasons to detest the man himself, but you cannot deny the writer's central position in French literature," he added.

Céline, best known for his 1932 novel "Journey to the End of the Night", is regarded as one of France's most prominent -- and controversial -- modern novelists.

His trio of anti-Semitic pamphlets to be released in the upcoming book "Polemical Writings" are titled "Trifles for a Massacre" ("Bagatelles pour un Massacre"), "School for Corpses" ("L'ecole des Cadavres") and "A Fine Mess" ("Les Beaux draps").

Activist and advocate for the families of French Jews deported during World War II Serge Klarsfeld has demanded Gallimard be stopped from publishing the collection.

Frederic Potier, France's governmental delegate for the fight against racism, antisemitism and anti-LGBT hatred, warned the publishing house last month of the risks of reprinting the texts, calling for a "guarantee" that the volume would also include critical context.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Date created : 2018-01-07

  • FRANCE

    First, and likely only, footage of French novelist Marcel Proust surfaces

    Read more

  • CULTURE

    Éric Vuillard wins Goncourt prize, France's highest literary honour

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Thousands of letters penned by French writer Proust to go online

    Read more

COMMENT(S)