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Signed, Malraux by Jean-Francois Lyotard

Signed, Malraux

by Jean-Francois Lyotard

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0816631069, Hardcover)

André Malraux (1901-1976) was a swashbuckling character-a self-invented adventurer, a onetime smuggler of artifacts, a fighter in the Spanish Civil War and the French Resistance, an artist and thinker. He has come to epitomize the committed writer, one who not only wrote about revolution but who, when necessary, laid down his pen to pick up a gun. In this incisive and evocative account, Jean-François Lyotard goes beyond the facts and legends about Malraux. Lyotard's project is to get under Malraux's skin, tracing the interactions among art, literature, politics, sexuality, and ideology that led to his emergence as a cultural icon.

Lyotard's Malraux is a man haunted by death-not the existentialist dread of living in freedom, but the certainty that we are destined to die. Because he believed that only art is somewhat enduring, he concluded that we should turn our lives into works of art. In his title, Lyotard alludes to this idea: to sign one's life as one would a painting. Through this conceit, Lyotard draws from and then challenges conventional ideas of biography, blurring the difference between writing and acting, between words and deeds.

In Signed, Malraux, Lyotard provides both a compelling account of this fascinating figure and a new understanding of the man. In doing so, Lyotard not only explores all of Malraux's major themes-art, the Far East, women, politics, communism, antifascism-he creates Malraux anew as an emblem of freedom of thought for our era.

Jean-François Lyotard (1925-1998) was one of the principal French philosophers and intellectuals of the twentieth century. His works include Postmodern Fables (1997), The Postmodern Condition (1984), The Differend (1988), Heidegger and "the jews" (1990), and The Postmodern Explained (1992), all published by the University of Minnesota Press.

Robert Harvey is associate professor of French and comparative literature at SUNY Stony Brook.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:29 -0400)

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