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    Louis-Ferdinand Céline, literary genius or national pariah? Defining moral parameters for influential cultural figures, post- Charlie Hebdo

    Catani, Damian (2016) Louis-Ferdinand Céline, literary genius or national pariah? Defining moral parameters for influential cultural figures, post- Charlie Hebdo. French Cultural Studies 27 (3), pp. 268-278. ISSN 0957-1558.

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    Abstract

    In January 2011 the French Minister of Culture, Frédéric Mitterrand, withdrew Louis-Ferdinand Céline from a list of famous French authors specifically selected for a national celebration of culture. This bold decision polarized opinion: while many welcomed Mitterrand’s intervention, a number of prominent writers, some of them Jewish, opposed it on the grounds that Céline’s abhorrent political beliefs – expressed in three anti-Semitic pamphlets and his flirtation with Nazism- should in no way detract from his literary genius. In the light of this controversy, and of the rise in anti-Semitism following the Charlie Hebdo attacks of January 2015, this paper proposes Céline as a vital case study of the moral parameters a democratic nation should apply to a culturally important figure whose political views are deemed unacceptably reactionary.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Charlie Hebdo, Frédéric Mitterrand, cultural history, anti-Semitism, épuration, engagement, religion, race
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Arts > Cultures and Languages
    Research Centre: Aesthetics of Kinship and Community, Birkbeck Research in (BRAKC)
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2016 12:47
    Last Modified: 05 Aug 2017 00:10
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/13208

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