Plot[ edit ] The story is set in a French north coast town. Jerome and Alissa, cousins, as 10—year olds make an implicit commitment of undying affection for each other. Jerome believes he has a commitment of marriage from Alissa, but she gradually withdraws into greater religious intensity, rejects Jerome and refuses to see him for longer and longer stretches of time. Eventually she dies in Paris from an unknown malady which is almost self-imposed. And yet, her vision of heavenly joy is so surpassingly beautiful as almost to justify its means. In the limited sense in which the Immoralist was right in sinning for earthly joy, Alissa was justified in sinning to achieve her view of heaven.
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In , he became mayor of La Roque-Baignard , a commune in Normandy. In , Gide rented the property Maderia in St. This period, —07, is commonly seen as a time of apathy and turmoil for him. Gide and Marc fled to London, in retribution for which his wife burned all his correspondence — "the best part of myself," he later commented. In , he met Dorothy Bussy , who was his friend for over thirty years and translated many of his works into English.
In , he published a book on Fyodor Dostoyevsky ; however, when he defended homosexuality in the public edition of Corydon he received widespread condemnation.
He later considered this his most important work. In , he sired a daughter, Catherine, by Elisabeth van Rysselberghe, a woman who was much younger than he. Catherine became his only descendant by blood. She worshiped him, but evidently they no longer had a sexual relationship.
Later he explored their unconsummated marriage in his memoir of Madeleine, Et nunc manet in te. After , he began to campaign for more humane conditions for convicted criminals. In this published journal, he criticized the behavior of French business interests in the Congo and inspired reform.
He related, for instance, how natives were forced to leave their village for several weeks to collect rubber in the forest, and went as far as comparing their exploitation to slavery. The book had important influence on anti-colonialism movements in France and helped re-evaluate the impact of colonialism. He encountered censorship of his speeches and was particularly disillusioned with the state of culture under Soviet communism, breaking with his socialist friends[ who?
Then would it not be better to, instead of playing on words, simply to acknowledge that the revolutionary spirit or even simply the critical spirit is no longer the correct thing, that it is not wanted any more?
What is wanted now is compliance, conformism. What is desired and demanded is approval of all that is done in the U. What is most astounding is that this attempt is successful. On the other hand the smallest protest, the least criticism, is liable to the severest penalties, and in fact is immediately stifled.
If I have to lay my life down that it may succeed, I would do so without hesitation. No one can begin to imagine the tragedy of humanity, of morality, of religion and of freedoms in the land of communism, where man has been debased beyond belief. Monnier was a young woman who was kept captive by her own mother for more than 25 years. In , he received the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his comprehensive and artistically significant writings, in which human problems and conditions have been presented with a fearless love of truth and keen psychological insight".
Moreover, no writer of such stature had led such an interesting life, a life accessibly interesting to us as readers of his autobiographical writings, his journal, his voluminous correspondence and the testimony of others. It was the life of a man engaging not only in the business of artistic creation, but reflecting on that process in his journal, reading that work to his friends and discussing it with them; a man who knew and corresponded with all the major literary figures of his own country and with many in Germany and England; who found daily nourishment in the Latin, French, English and German classics, and, for much of his life, in the Bible; [who enjoyed playing Chopin and other classic works on the piano;] and who engaged in commenting on the moral, political and sexual questions of the day.
But, unlike many writers, he was no recluse: he had a need of friendship and a genius for sustaining it. The fiction spans the early years of Symbolism, to the "comic, more inventive, even fantastic" pieces, to the later "serious, heavily autobiographical, first-person narratives" In France Gide was considered a great stylist in the classical sense, "with his clear, succinct, spare, deliberately, subtly phrased sentences.
But it is the Journal that Sheridan calls "the pre-eminently Gidean mode of expression. Most often the obstacle is within him. And all the rest is merely accidental. He sought to uncover the authentic self beneath its contradictory masks. I call a pederast the man who, as the word indicates, falls in love with young boys. I call a sodomite "The word is sodomite, sir," said Verlaine to the judge who asked him if it were true that he was a sodomist the man whose desire is addressed to mature men.
Wilde took a key out of his pocket and showed me into a tiny apartment of two rooms… The youths followed him, each of them wrapped in a burnous that hid his face. Then the guide left us and Wilde sent me into the further room with little Mohammed and shut himself up in the other with the [other boy].
Every time since then that I have sought after pleasure, it is the memory of that night I have pursued. How should there have been any question of love?
How should I have allowed desire to dispose of my heart? No scruple clouded my pleasure and no remorse followed it. But what name then am I to give the rapture I felt as I clasped in my naked arms that perfect little body, so wild, so ardent, so sombrely lascivious?
For a long time after Mohammed had left me, I remained in a state of passionate jubilation, and though I had already achieved pleasure five times with him, I renewed my ecstasy again and again, and when I got back to my room in the hotel, I prolonged its echoes until morning.
Depending on age of consent laws this practice is of course usually prohibited as child sexual abuse or statutory rape.
Portrait d'alissa dans la porte étroite d'andré gide