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Coen, S.J. (1982). Louis-Ferdinand Céline's Castle to Castle: The Author—Reader Relationship In Its Narrative Style. Am. Imago, 39(4):343-368.

(1982). American Imago, 39(4):343-368

Louis-Ferdinand Céline's Castle to Castle: The Author—Reader Relationship In Its Narrative Style

Stanley J. Coen, M.D.

Here am I, here are you:

But what does it mean? What are we going to do?

(W.H. Auden, “It's No Use Raising A Shout”, 1934).


Contemporary literary criticism has been shifting its focus from the interpretation of embedded meanings located within a text to the processes of writing and reading. This is especially so of the French structuralists (e.g., Barthes), as well as of certain psychoanalytically influenced critics (e.g., Holland, Schwartz, Bleich). As yet, a psychoanalytically informed psychology of writing and reading has barely been considered. In this paper, I continue my previous investigations in this direction (Coen, In Press (a); Coen, 1980), by exploring possibilities and limitations in attributing psychological meanings to narrative style, using Louis-Ferdinand Céline's novel, Castle to Castle, as a paradigmatic text. The author-reader relationship in this work is examined by a study of my own feelings and responses in readings of the novel and the fantasies I have needed to construct of the author-narrator.

I shall organize the strategies I encounter during my readings of the text into a coherent whole, which I then symbolize and personalize as a fantasy construct of the author---narrator.

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