On the 60th anniversary of the publication of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, The Independent asked writers what they thought about it, and to cite their favourite reads. Will Self chose Céline’s Journey to the End of the Night:
“1984 is an alternative-world book, and I write alternative-world books. It’s an alternative London book. I think the success of his parallel world is where its appeal lies. So, the Chestnut Tree café was modelled on a café in South End Green. It’s a bricolage of London in 1948. I wouldn’t say it’s in the top 10 that have influenced me as a writer, but it’s probably in the top 20 or 30.
“Louis-Ferdinand Céline’s Journey to the End of the Night had a great influence. He wrote, not about reality, but the hallucination reality provokes. I took that as a motto for my work. It liberated my thinking.”