Death on Credit by Louis-Ferdinand Celine

By Louis-Ferdinand Celine

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Meanwhile, Philip Swallow is wondering more desperately than ever when this flight is going to end. Charles Boon has been talking at him for hours, it seems, permitting few interruptions. All about the political situation in Euphoria ii in general and on the Euphoric State campus in particular. The factions, the issues, the confrontations; Governor Duck, Chancellor Binde, Mayor Holmes, Sheriff O'Keene; the Third World, the Hippies, the Black Panthers, the Faculty Liberals; pot, Black Studies, sexual freedom, ecology, free speech, police violence, ghettoes, fair housing, school busing, Viet Nam; strikes, arson, marches, sit-ins, teach-ins, love-ins, happenings.

Bill ? Look, I want to go to Europe for six months, as soon after Christmas as possible. I need some kind of a deal. ' 'Gee, Morris, I wish you'd asked me earlier. ' There was a rustling of papers. ' Bill tried to argue him out ofit for a while, then confessed that the Rummidge post had already been given to a young assistant professor in Metallurgy. 'Tell him he can't have it after all. ' ' I can't do that, Morris. ' 'Give him accelerated promotion to Associate Professor. ' ' W e l l . . ' Bill Moser hesitated, then sighed.

Time passes very slowly. Each person is alone, temporarily, with his own thoughts. But it is hard to think connectedly, swaying and lurching here between heaven and earth. Philip thinks ofHilary smiling bravely and the children waving forlornly on Rummidge station as his train drew away, of an essay that he has forgotten to return to a student, of the probable cost of a taxi from the airport to Plotinus. The future seems frighteningly blank and he has a 5a sudden spasm ofhomesickness; then he wonders whether the plane will crash, and what it would be like to die and whether there is a God, and where did he put his luggage tickets.

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Death on Credit by Louis-Ferdinand Celine
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