L.-F. Céline (1894-1961) has several ties to Le Havre. He often mentioned Auguste Destouches, his grandfather on his father’s side, a rhetoric teacher at the Le Havre high school in the 1830s. In Guignol’s band (1944), this character is presented as the starting point of his taste for the French language and his literary vocation. Céline’s father and uncles were brought up in Le Havre, as related in Death on Credit (1936) and through the character of Auguste. The author hid in Le Havre several times in the 1930s to write Death on Credit, to get away from Paris which he found too noisy. He then stayed at the Frascati Hotel, from where he wrote to his secretary to draft his text with her. The luxury hotel, which came with a beach, was destroyed in the 1944 bombings.

Céline went back to Le Havre in 1937 as a stand in doctor. He mentioned his stay in Castle to Castle (1957). In Rigadoon (1969), while in Denmark, the narrator also remembers Le Havre, among other maritime locations that stood out in his life.

Finally, two plays by Céline are set in Le Havre, including Voyou Paul. Brave Virginie (1959), his own version of Paul and Virginie by Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, who was also from Le Havre.

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