CELINE, Louis-Ferdinand. Death on the Installment Plan. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. 1938.
8vo. Original cloth and wrapper printed in red and black; pp. 593, a little chipping to edges of wrapper with scuff to back, otherwise very good.
First English language edition. Published as Mort a Credit in French in 1936, this is Celine's second novel and widely considered one of his best. The travails of the anti-hero Ferdinand in twentieth century Paris draw upon an existentialist quest for a meaningful life as well as a hard-nosed sense of comedy similar to Joyce and Swift. Celine's vision of youth struggling to make sense of an indifferent world was praised by figures such as Sartre and he became influential. He prefigured the Beat generation, and he was later befriended by Burroughs and Ginsberg - the latter rather surprisingly, given Celine's wartime Fascist sympathies and the poet's Jewish heritage.