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Lucette Destouches

Lucette Destouches (20 July 1912 – 8 November 2019) was a French dancer.[1][2][3] She was married to the writer Louis-Ferdinand Céline until his death in 1961.

Lucette Destouches
Lucette Destouches (née Almanzor), François Gibault and Maroussia Klimova in 1995.jpg
Destouches (left), François Gibault, and Maroussia Klimova in 1995
Lucie Almansor

20 July 1912
Died8 November 2019(2019-11-08) (aged 107)
Louis-Ferdinand Céline
(m. 1943; died 1961)


Destouches was the daughter of Joseph Almansor and Gabrielle Donas Lucie Georgette Almansor.[4] She was born on 20 July 1912 in the 5th arrondissement of Paris. Destouches married Louis-Ferdinand Céline on 15 February 1943 in the 18th arrondissement.[5]

During World War II Céline had collaborated with the Nazis in France; in September 1944 he and Lucette fled to Germany to escape punishment. They later moved to Denmark before returning to France.[6]

In his novels, Céline portrayed Destouches as Lili. The character appeared in Castle to Castle, North, and Rigadoon.

Céline died on 1 July 1961, and Destouches largely kept his death a secret.[citation needed] Only thirty people attended the funeral, including Marcel Aymé, Claude Gallimard, Roger Nimier, Robert Poulet, Jean-Roger Caussimon, and Lucien Rebatet.[citation needed]

Destouches began to teach classical dance. She taught courses with Judith Magre, Françoise Gallimard, Isabelle Gallimard, Ludmilla Tchérina, and members of 2Be3 during their early careers.[citation needed]

Destouches was initially quite opposed to Marie Canavaggia's translations and the publications of Rigodoon and anti-Semitic works written by Céline, such as Bagatelles pour un massacre, L'École des cadavres, and Les Beaux Draps,[7] but finally agreed in 2017.[8] The projects were soon postponed indefinitely.[9]

On her 100th birthday in 2012, Destouches had a series of texts by David Alliot written in her honor, titled Madame Céline.[10][11]

Destouches died on 8 November 2019 at her home in Meudon.[12] She was 107.


  1. ^ "Lucette Destouches : Céline, la femme". Bibliobs (in French). 20 July 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  2. ^ "Lucette Destouches, la veuve de Louis-Ferdinand Céline, est morte". (in French). 8 November 2019. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  3. ^ "Lucette Destouches, la veuve de Louis-Ferdinand Céline, est morte". (in French). 8 November 2019. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  4. ^ "Actes de naissance (1860-1924), mariage (1860-1943) et décès (1860-1986)". Archive Paris (in French). Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  5. ^ "Acte de naissance no 198". Courbevoie (in French). 28 May 1894. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  6. ^ Schofield, Hugh (24 November 2019). "Last witness to France's cheerleaders for the Nazis" – via
  7. ^ ""Lettres", de Céline : comment Céline devint Céline". Le Monde (in French). 17 December 2009. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  8. ^ "Lucette DESTOUCHES : « Maintenant, je suis perdue... » (1965)". Le Petit Célinien (in French). 7 December 2014. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  9. ^ "Gallimard "suspend" son projet de publication des pamphlets antisémites de Céline". Europe1 (in French). 11 January 2018. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  10. ^ "Le grand amour de Louis-Ferdinand Céline". L'Express (in French). 11 May 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  11. ^ "Madame Céline de David Alliot". franceinfo (in French). 31 May 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  12. ^ "Lucette Destouches, gardienne fidèle de l'oeuvre de Céline, est morte". France Culture (in French). 8 November 2019. Retrieved 10 November 2019.