Andre Gide A Life in the Present (Paperback)
|Author: Alan Sheridan|
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|depth, breadth, and vitality of an incomparable oeuvre; and the spirit of a time that both so aptly expressed.|
From the Publisher:
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.By the end of his life Gide would have been on most lists of the ten most important novelists of the twentieth century. His Paludes (1895) was one of the beginnings of the modern novel; his masterpiece, Les Faux-Monnayeurs (1925), is one of its most ambitious achievements. But his name was also familiar the world over to millions who had never read his books: he had long since become a controversial figure, his views on political and sexual matters being better known than his literary work.
"The marvelous thing about Gide is that he understood himself better than anyone else did, and yet never finished figuring out the puzzle of his own personality. In this intelligent biography, Alan Sheridan offers several solutions to that puzzle." - Allan Hepburn April 1999