André Gide: A Life in the Present

André Gide: A Life in the Present

by Alan Sheridan


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One of the most important writers of the twentieth century, André Gide also led what was probably one of the most interesting lives our century has seen. Gide knew and corresponded with many of the major literary figures of his day, from Mallarmé to Oscar Wilde. Though a Communist, his critical account of Soviet Russia in Return from the USSR earned him the enmity of the Left. A lifelong advocate of moral and political freedom and justice, he was a proscribed writer on the Vatican's infamous "Index." Self-published most of his life, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1947, at the age of 77. An avowed homosexual, he nonetheless married his cousin, and though their marriage was unconsummated, at 53 he fathered a daughter for a friend.

Alan Sheridan's book is a literary biography of Gide, an intimate portrait of the reluctantly public man, whose work was deeply and inextricably entangled with his life. Gide's life provides a unique perspective on our century, an idea of what it was like for one person to live through unprecedented technological change, economic growth and collapse, the rise of socialism and fascism, two world wars, a new concern for the colonial peoples and for women, and the astonishing hold of Rome and Moscow over intellectuals. Following Gide from his first forays among the Symbolists through his sexual and political awakenings to his worldwide fame as a writer, sage, and commentator on his age, Sheridan richly conveys the drama of a remarkable life; the depth, breadth, and vitality of an incomparable oeuvre; and the spirit of a time that both so aptly expressed.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674003934
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 10/02/2000
Pages: 752
Product dimensions: 5.56(w) x 8.88(h) x (d)

About the Author

Alan Sheridan is the author of Michel Foucault: The Will to Truth. He has also translated over 50 books, including works by Sartre, Lacan, and Foucault.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations


1. Two Stars, Two Races, Two Provinces, Two Faiths

2. Childhood: Schooldays and Holidays (OCTOBER 1874—OCTOBER 1880)

3. Youth: God and Love (OCTOBER 1880—SEPTEMBER 1889)

4. André Waiter: Puritan and Narcissist (OCTOBER 1889—JUNE 1891)

5. The Ironic Narcissist: le Traité du Narcisse, Poésies d'André Walter, le Voyage d'Urien, La Tentative ainoureuse (JUNE 1891— OCTOBER 1893)

6. Liberation and…Engagement: 'J'écris…Paludes'(OCTOBER 1893—JUNE 1895)

7. Marriage and Nomadism: les Nourritures terrestres, Saül, Le Prométliée mal enchaîé, Philoctète (JUNE 1895—OCTOBER 1898)

8. High Hopes Brought Low: le Roi Candaule and L'Immoraliste (NOVEMBER 1898—OCTOBER 1902)

9. The Barren Years: le Retour de l'Enfant prodigue and La Porte étroite (OCTOBER 1902—OCTOBER 1908)

10. The 'New' Gide and the Founding of the NRF: Isabelle and Les Caves du Vatican (OCTOBER 1908—AUGUST 1914)

11. The War: De Profundis, Summer's Lease (AUGUST 1914—NOVEMBER 1918)

12. The Post-War Years: La Symphonie Pastorale (NOVEMBER 1918—DECEMBER 1921)

13. Gide, Homosexual Theorist and Father: Corydon and Les Faux—Monnayeurs (JANUARY 1922—JULY 1925)

14. Heart of Darkness: Voyage au Congo and L'Ecole des femmes
(JULY 1925—DECEMBER 1930)

15. Gide, 'Fellow—traveller': Oedipe, Perséphone and les Nouvelles Nourritures (JANUARY 1931—JUNE 1936)

16. Retreat from Moscow, a Sense of Ending: Retour de L'U.R.S.S. and
Geneviéve (JUNE 1936—SEPTEMBER 1939)

17. Another War: Retreat and Exile (SEPTEMBER 1939—MAY 1945)

18. 'The End of Life…A Rather Dull Last Act': Thésée and
Ainsi soit—il (MAY 1945—FEBRUARY 1951)


Notes and References


Family Trees: The Gide Family, The Rondeaux Family


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