Love letters by fascist and 'most influential writer' Céline sell in Belgium



2015-06-26 12:12:38

Love letters by fascist and 'most influential writer' Cline sell in Belgium

As influential as he is controversial, love notes by Louis-Ferdinand Destouches are up for sale

One of the most influential writers of the 20th century is going under the hammer at Belgian auction house Salle des Ventes Michel Lhomme's Precious Booksauction on January 22.

Personal letters written by none other than Louis-Ferdinand Cline, the French writer and medical doctor (pictured top right, real name Louis-Ferdinand Destouches, 1894-1961), will be among the sale's star lots.

Up for saleis a cach of unpublished letters to 18-year-old Bente Johansen (1945-1947) comprising 18 autographed letters, corrections and a 68 pages-long folio.

The notes were written while Cline was in exile after writing three typically cynical and anti-semitic books. The author fled fromFrance to Sigmaringen, Germany, during the former's liberation from Nazi occupation.

 Louis-Ferdinand Cline's letters to 18-year-old Bente Johansen

Though his writings were influential, developing a new writing style that modernised both French and World literature, Cline nevertheless remains controversial due to his fascist ideals. One book, 1936's Bagatelles pour un massacre, envisages the mass slaughter of Gentiles.

Michel Lhomme's lot notes don't specify if Cline's fascist leanings are evidence in his letters to Bente Johansen. Nevertheless, these letters are the only witness tothe little known period of the writer's life during his exile - and could prove valuable on the auction block.

The lot, which also includes photographs from the period, will appear in the Belgiumsale estimated at 20,000-25,000.

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