The release date for Celine’s unfinished historical novel is announced by Gallimard

The two drafts of The Will of King Krogold’s manuscript that the publishing house has will be released in the spring.

Louis-Ferdinand Céline’s thousands of unpublished manuscript pages, which were suddenly discovered in the summer of 2021, contained this tale. after nearly 80 years of being believed to be lost. On Friday, Gallimard said that it would release an unpublished book by the Voyage au bout de la nuit author on April 27.

It is a medieval story with the title The Will of King Krogold that Céline (1894–1961) referred to as a “Gaelic legend.” The Legend of King René, typewritten by the author, “dating from the first half of the 1930s,” was to be published first, followed by a manuscript with the same title that “probably dated to 1939–1940,” according to Gallimard.

These two significant works, which are unpublished and at various states of completion, are part of the same project but are distinguished by significant stylistic and narrative changes, according to the publishing company.

They originate from the almost 1,200 handwritten sheets that ardent collaborator Céline had left behind when he escaped Paris for Germany in June 1944. These writings unexpectedly surfaced in 2021 after being taken by a resistance fighter, hidden for three-quarters of a century, and then recovered. They inspired the two unpublished novels “War” and “London,” which were released in 2022.

A fresh book and an improved Pléiade edition

The war that King Krogold conducted against the treacherous Prince Gwendor, the murder of the prosecutor Morvan by the trouvère Thibaut, and Joad’s passion for the lovely Wanda are all depicted in this new work, whose main episodes take place between Brittany and Scandinavia, according to Gallimard. This piece of contemporary realist fiction definitely stood apart from the rest of Céline’s works, but she was unable to persuade her publisher, Denol, to publish it. Death on Credit, one of them, has excerpts from it.

The unpublished short story “La Vieille horrible,” from the same manuscripts, is also scheduled to be published on March 23 in issue 655 of La Nouvelle Revue française, which is largely devoted to Céline.

The Céline-specific volumes of the Bibliothèque de la Pléiade must then be recast, and the novel cassette pipe—which first appeared in 1949 but was left unfinished—will also be updated with previously unpublished passages.

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