This is a discovery that fans of Louis-Ferdinand Céline have long disbelieved. Thousands of unpublished pages stolen in 1944 from the author’s home after his escape to Germany have just resurfaced, in circumstances worthy of a detective story. The theater critic Jean-Pierre Thibaudat revealed in Le Monde to be in possession of the leaves for more than fifteen years. “Many years ago, a Liberation reader called me and said he wanted to give me some documents. On the day of the appointment, he arrived with huge bags containing handwritten leaflets. They were from the hand of Louis-Ferdinand Céline. He gave them to me with only one condition: not to make them public before the death of Lucette Destouches, because, being on the left, he did not want to “enrich” the widow of the writer, ”he says. he in Le Monde.
The donor, whose identity has not been disclosed, did not ask for money in return for this donation. “There were thousands of pages, a little loose, and it took me months just to classify them”, explained Jean-Pierre Thibaudat, who has transcribed for years “more than a million signs, or the equivalent of a 600-page book ”. Among these pages is in particular the manuscript of the novel Casse-Pipe, supposed to conclude the triptych begun with Voyage at the end of the night and Death on credit.
Informed in 2019 of the existence of this treasure, Céline’s heirs, Ms. Chovin and Mr. Gibault, decided to file a complaint for concealment of theft. “Why could M. Thibaudat dispose of the manuscripts that were stolen at the Liberation as he pleases?” How could he ignore its origin, when one only needs to take a little interest in Celine to find out? », Asks Me Jérémie Assous, lawyer for Celine’s beneficiaries. It will therefore be necessary to be patient before discovering this literary treasure of inestimable value.
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– Thousands of unpublished pages: the recovered treasures of Louis-Ferdinand Céline