Uit: Journey To The End Of The Night (Vertaald door Ralph Manheim)
“Lola had a genuine official uniform, and it was really natty, decorated with little crosses all over, on the sleeves and on the tiny cap that she perched at a rakish angle on her wavy hair. She’d come to help us save France, as she told the hotel manager, to the best of her humble ability but with all her heart! We understood each other right away, but not completely, because the transports of the heart were beginning to give me a pain, I was more interested in the transports of the body. You can’t trust the heart, not at all. I’d learned that in the war, and I wasn’t going to forget it in a hurry.
Lola’s heart was tender, weak, and enthusiastic. Her body was sweet, it was adorable, so what could I do but take her all together as she was? Lola was a good kid all right, but between us stood the war, the monstrous frenzy that was driving half of humanity, lovers or not, to send the other half to the slaughterhouse. Naturally this interfered with our relationship.
To me her body was a joy without end. I never wearied of exploring that American body. I have to admit that I was a terrible lecher. I still am. And I formed the pleasant and fortifying conviction that a country capable of producing bodies so daringly graceful, so tempting in their spiritual flights, must have countless other vital revelations to offer, of a biological nature, it goes without saying.
I made up my mind, while feeling and fondling Lola, that sooner or later I’d take a trip, or call it a pilgrimage, to the United States, the sooner the better. And the fact is that I knew neither peace nor rest (in an implacably adverse and harassed life) until I managed to go through with that profound and mystically anatomical adventure.
So it was in the immediate vicinity of Lola’s rear end that I received the message of a new world. Of course Lola wasn’t all body, she also had a wee little face that was adorable and just a bit cruel because of her gray-blue eyes that slanted slightly upward at the corners like a wildcat’s.”
Louis-Ferdinand Céline (27 mei 1894 – 1 juli 1961)