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Andre Malraux: Towards the Expression of Transcendence by David Bevan

By David Bevan

The 2 significant axes of inquiry are Malraux's ongoing quest for a measurement of transcendence inside of human existence and, at lest as compelling, his look for the main applicable and potent capacity during which to precise a altering wisdom of simply what that measurement should be. no longer unusually, in a global it sounds as if doomed to languish within the spectral shadow of demise, there are specific constants: a craving for a few fraternity to strive against man's crucial solitude, a refusal to sink with out attempt into the vortex of the Absurd, a conviciton that lifestyles is to be lived totally and very. The human situation is what it truly is. The ways that Malraux's characters, and naturally Malraux himself, focus on this situation show a transparent evolution, in particular from the 1933 novel l. a. situation humaine onwards. The reader follows Malraux from playful youth during the dichotomy of suffering and glorification in his heart years, in the direction of the basically interrogative utterances of the mature guy. the usually frivolous, occasionally sardonic, humour of sweet sixteen supplies manner first to a painful popularity of the abyss, then to the invention of a really tentative equilibrium within the philosophy of metamorphosis espoused by way of an older Malraux. Andre Malraux: in the direction of the Expression of Transcendence finds the primary steps through which Malraux accomplished that equilibrium.

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Sample text

But the as-yet-inconclusive nature of these observations at this time is attested by their lack of development in the novel which followed in 1928, Les Conqufrants. There we encounter only Rebecci's mildly perverted fantasies and Garine's occasional therapeutic exor- (or, if you prefer, exer-) -cising: II [Rebecci] vivait entour£ de petites filles qu'il avait recueillies, servantes dont le principal travail £tait d'£couter des histoires, et que surveillait avec soin son epouse chinoise qui n'ignorait pas qu'il eut £t£ curieux de tenter avec elles quelques experiences.

At best, readers point cursorily to the passage's prophetically morbid quality, the lack of genuine contact, the very mortal reality that the flesh momentarily couches. And yet it happens to occur at a most meaningful point in the novel immediately prior to the accelerated denouement which commences with Tchen's suicidal attack on Chang-Kai-Chek - and has been carefully prepared by the preceding philosophical discussion between Ferral and Gisors which conceptualizes erotic experience. 2 It would seem worthwhile, therefore, without recklessly positing any iconographical intentionality on the part of the author, at least to reflect more speculatively than has been attempted hitherto on the potential areas of significance of a moment which Malraux himself presents thus: II [Ferral] comprenait maintenant ce que Gisors n'avaitque soupc,onn£: oui, sa volonte de puissance n'atteignait jamais son objet, ne vivait que de le renouveler; mais n'eut-il de sa vie possede une seule femme, il avait possede, 42 Andre Malraux il possederait £ travers cette Chinoise qui 1'attendait, la seule chose dont il hit avide: lui-m£me.

Et il fallait frapper avec precision. 4 Although clearly we are not dealing here with the raw matter of the mental process - free indirect style gives only relative complicity through the imperfect or conditional tenses - there is, as we have already observed, a very marked reduction in the traditional distance between reader and fictional event. 29 On Free Indirect Style Elsewhere, it is frequently Gisors, the intellectual centre of the work, who explains to himself, and to us, the psychology of those who gravitate around him.

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