Journey to the End of the Night - Section 17 Summary & Analysis

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Section 17 Summary

This section begins with the phrase, "In spite of everything it was just as well that I went back..."

Bebert, the concierge's nephew, of whom Bardamu is relatively fond, falls sick with typhoid fever. Several doctors are consulted, but Bardamu is finally given charge of the child. The entire neighborhood takes an interest, visiting, giving advice and cooked Brussels sprouts to the aunt.

Bardamu, genuinely concerned, tries everything and when he cannot cure the child, he goes to the prestigious Bioduret Institute to ask for advice (bioduret means 'long life' and Celine is obviously referring to the Pasteur Institute in Paris). The institute appears to him to be a labyrinth of corridors, empty of people but filled with mice suffocating in jars, cigarette butts, gutted animal corpses, chipped beakers and urine smells.

The men of science arrive. Bardamu describes them as "grey-haired, umbrella-carrying...

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This section contains 686 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Journey to the End of the Night Study Guide
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