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André Gide (1869–1951)

Author of The Immoralist

284+ Works 15,028 Members 185 Reviews 44 Favorited

About the Author

Gide, the reflective rebel against bourgeois morality and one of the most important and controversial figures in modern European literature, published his first book anonymously at the age of 18. Gide was born in Paris, the only child of a law professor and a strict Calvinist mother. As a young show more man, he was an ardent member of the symbolist group, but the style of his later work is more in the tradition of classicism. Much of his work is autobiographical, and the story of his youth and early adult years and the discovery of his own sexual tendencies is related in Si le grain ne meurt (If it die . . .) (1926). Corydon (1923) deals with the question of homosexuality openly. Gide's reflections on life and literature are contained in his Journals (1954), which span the years 1889--1949. He was a founder of the influential Nouvelle Revue Francaise, in which the works of many prominent modern European authors appeared, and he remained a director until 1941. He resigned when the journal passed into the hands of the collaborationists. Gide's sympathies with communism prompted him to travel to Russia, where he found the realities of Soviet life less attractive than he had imagined. His accounts of his disillusionment were published as Return from the U.S.S.R. (1937) and Afterthoughts from the U.S.S.R. (1938). Always preoccupied with freedom, a champion of the oppressed and a skeptic, he remained an incredibly youthful spirit. Gide himself classified his fiction into three categories: satirical tales with elements of farce like Les Caves du Vatican (Lafcadio's Adventures) (1914), which he termed soties; ironic stories narrated in the first person like The Immoralist (1902) and Strait Is the Gate (1909), which he called recits; and a more complex narrative related from a multifaceted point of view, which he called a roman (novel). The only example of the last category that he published was The Counterfeiters (1926). Throughout his career, Gide maintained an extensive correspondence with such noted figures as Valery, Claudel, Rilke, and others. In 1947, he received the Nobel Prize for Literature. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Series

Works by André Gide

The Immoralist (1902) 3,344 copies
The Counterfeiters (1925) 1,401 copies
The Vatican Cellars (1914) 1,380 copies
Strait is the Gate (1924) 1,376 copies
The Pastoral Symphony (1919) 1,076 copies
The Counterfeiters / Journal of The Counterfeiters (1925) — Author — 863 copies
If It Die (1920) — Author — 516 copies
Fruits of the Earth (1897) — Author — 462 copies
Corydon (1920) — Author — 347 copies
Two Symphonies (1911) — Author — 299 copies
Marshlands (1895) — Author — 214 copies
Journals: 1889-1949 (1956) 180 copies
Isabelle (1911) — Author — 165 copies
Travels in the Congo (1927) — Author — 154 copies
Dostoevsky (1923) — Author — 126 copies
Madeleine (1947) — Author — 111 copies
Two Legends: Oedipus and Theseus (1931) — Author — 108 copies
L'école des femmes (1929) — Author — 106 copies
The journals of André Gide. Vol 1/2 : 1889-1924 (1948) — Author — 102 copies
Oscar Wilde: A Biography (1910) — Author — 99 copies
Theseus (1946) — Author — 93 copies
Urien's voyage (1893) — Author — 85 copies
The School for Wives (1929) — Author — 73 copies
Amyntas: North African Journals (1906) — Author — 71 copies
The journals of André Gide. Vol 4/4 : 1939-1949 (1954) — Author — 64 copies
Le Prométhée mal enchaîné (1899) — Author — 59 copies
Retour de l'U.R.S.S (1936) — Author — 59 copies
Gide. Anthologie de la poésie française (La Pléiade) (1949) — Editor; Preface, some editions — 57 copies
Journal of the Counterfeiters (1927) — Author — 54 copies
The Return of the Prodigal Son (1907) — Author — 52 copies
Voyage au Congo (1927) — Author — 52 copies
Notes on Chopin (1931) — Author — 51 copies
The living thoughts of Montaigne (1929) — Author — 48 copies
Strait is the Gate / The Vatican Cellars (1909) — Author — 48 copies
Journal 1889-1939 (1939) — Author — 47 copies
The Trial (1948) — Author — 47 copies
Pretexts; reflections on literature and morality (1903) — Author — 46 copies
Imaginary Interviews (1941) — Author — 45 copies
Notebooks of Andre Walter (1891) — Author — 42 copies
Autumn Leaves (1949) — Author — 42 copies
So be it; or, The chips are down (1946) — Author — 38 copies
Souvenirs de la cour d'assises (1914) — Author — 38 copies
The White Notebook (1964) 32 copies
Marshlands and Prometheus Misbound (1953) — Author — 27 copies
Diario (1999) 27 copies
Le Ramier (1907) — Author — 23 copies
La sequestree de poitiers / l'affaire redureau (1930) — Author — 17 copies
The Andre Gide reader (1971) 17 copies
Saül : Drame en cinq actes (1903) — Author — 16 copies
Les nouvelles nourritures (1936) — Author — 15 copies
Gide : Oedipe - Cocteau : La machine infernale (1968) — Author — 15 copies
Gide. Souvenirs et voyages (La Pléiade) (2001) — Author — 14 copies
Journal, 1939-1942 (1942) — Author — 13 copies
Judge not (1914) — Author — 13 copies
Il caso Redureau (1930) — Author — 13 copies
Sämtliche Erzählungen (1965) 11 copies
Théâtre (1901) 10 copies
LA GUIRLANDE DES ANNES (1941) — Author — 10 copies
Retouches à mon Retour de l'U.R.S.S (1937) — Author — 9 copies
De l'influence en littérature (1900) — Author — 8 copies
Gide : Essais critiques (1999) — Author — 8 copies
Incidences (1924) — Author — 8 copies
Robert (1930) — Author — 7 copies
Oedipe (1930) — Author — 7 copies
Journal, 1942-1949 (1950) — Author — 6 copies
Romanzi 6 copies
My theater. Five plays and an essay (1934) — Author — 5 copies
Le grincheux (2001) 5 copies
Geneviève (1936) — Author — 5 copies
Pages de journal (1929-1932) (1934) — Author — 4 copies
Diario 1887-1910 (2021) 4 copies
Pages choisies (1954) — Author — 4 copies
Kitsas uks ; Valerahategijad ; Theseus (1909) — Author — 4 copies
Gertrude 3 copies
Paludi-I nutrimenti terrestri (1895) — Author — 3 copies
Opere 3 copies
Romane und lyrische Prosa (1973) 3 copies
Poussin (2010) 3 copies
Diario 1911-1915 (2021) — Author — 2 copies
Diario 1936-1950 (2022) 2 copies
Diario 1926-1935 (2022) 2 copies
El Hadj (1897) — Author — 2 copies
Coffret Gide Journal 2v (2022) 2 copies
Günlük (1997) 2 copies
Erzählungen 2 copies
Deux interviews imaginaires suivis de feuillets (1947) — Author — 2 copies
Fatti di Cronaca (1994) 2 copies
André Gide, Christian Beck. Correspondance (1994) — Author — 2 copies
Numquid et tu? 2 copies
Gide André 2 copies
Le roi Candaule (1901) — Author — 2 copies
Perséphone (1949) — Author — 2 copies
Découvrons Henri Michaux (1941) — Author — 2 copies
Dziennik (1992) 1 copy
Le Retour (1947) 1 copy
Storia di Pierrette (2010) 1 copy
Jeunesse 1 copy
Rencontres (1948) 1 copy
Eloges 1 copy
OSCAR WILDE 1 copy
Le Traité du Narcisse (1892) 1 copy
Tagebcher — Author — 1 copy
Povodi i odjeci (1926) 1 copy
Correspondance avec sa mère, 1880-1895 (1988) — Author — 1 copy
The Counterfeiters [extracts] (1925) — Author — 1 copy
Poesie 1 copy
Rencontres 1 copy
Philoctète et Thésée (1898) — Author — 1 copy
Pântanos 1 copy
Recits, Roman, Soties (1948) 1 copy
Le Treizième Arbre (1935) — Author — 1 copy
Attendu que 1 copy
Hyrden 1 copy
Dindiki. 1 copy
La Comtesse (1999) 1 copy
Trozos Escogidos (1921) 1 copy
MORCEAUX CHOISIS. (1921) 1 copy

Associated Works

The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (1824) — Afterword, some editions — 2,412 copies
Night Flight (1930) — Foreword, some editions — 2,018 copies
Barabbas (1944) — Letter, some editions — 1,411 copies
Gitanjali (1910) — Translator, some editions — 1,307 copies
Typhoon (1902) — Translator, some editions — 827 copies
The Assassin's Cloak: An Anthology of the World's Greatest Diarists (2000) — Contributor, some editions — 554 copies
Essays, Part 1/3 (1580) — Preface, some editions — 529 copies
French Stories (1960) — Contributor — 502 copies
The Queen of Spades (1834) — Translator, some editions — 486 copies
The God That Failed (1944) — Contributor — 430 copies
A World of Great Stories (1947) 263 copies
The Penguin Book of International Gay Writing (1995) — Contributor — 179 copies
The Columbia Anthology of Gay Literature (1998) — Contributor — 159 copies
Eleven Modern Short Novels (1970) — Contributor — 49 copies
rororo Monographien, Nr.4, Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1956) — Contributor, some editions — 37 copies
The Shot (1831) — Translator, some editions — 37 copies
The Snowstorm (1983) — Translator, some editions — 36 copies
Edouard Vuillard, 1868-1940 (1971) — Contributor — 35 copies
The Vintage Book of Classic Crime (1993) — Contributor — 34 copies
The Penguin Book of Twentieth-Century Protest (1998) — Contributor — 31 copies
Der Postmeister (1955) — Translator, some editions — 28 copies
Ten Modern Short Novels (1958) — Contributor — 27 copies
Oscar Wilde: A Collection of Critical Essays (1969) — Contributor — 26 copies
Shakespeare : Oeuvres complètes, tome 2 : Roméo et Juliette (1959) — Translator, some editions; Avant-propos, some editions — 16 copies
Great Short Novels of the World (1927) — Contributor — 15 copies
Das Simenon-Lesebuch (2002) — Contributor — 6 copies
André Gide's The Immoralist: A Play — Author — 5 copies
American Aphrodite (Volume Three, Number Twelve) (1953) — Contributor — 4 copies
Pléiade: Goethe: Théâtre complet (1942) — Foreword, some editions — 3 copies
Nouvelles — Translator, some editions — 2 copies
Théâtre complet. Avant-propos d'André Gide (1938) — Foreword, some editions; Translator, some editions — 1 copy
フランス短篇24 (現代の世界文学) (1989) — Contributor — 1 copy

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Reviews

This is a difficult story to appreciate today, removed from its original context. Alissa and Jerome love each other, and Alissa's sister Juliette also loves Jerome. Oh, and they're first cousins who grew up around each other. Alissa tries to give Jerome up to her sister, but Juliette matches the sacrifice by immediately marrying some random guy who appeared on the scene in order to remove herself from the picture.

Alissa though continues and takes to a far extreme her self-sacrifice. She has the idea that human love is vastly inferior to love of God and that it indeed gets in the way.
"What can the soul prefer to happiness?" I cried, impetuously. She whispered: "Holiness..."
She tells Jerome:
"In the first moments of your stay at Fongueusemare it was astonishment that I felt - soon after it was uneasiness - at the strange contentment that filled my whole being in your presence; 'a contentment so great,' you said, 'that I desire nothing beyond!' Alas! that is just what makes me uneasy... 'If it did not suffice, it would not be happiness,' you said, do you remember? And I did not know what to answer. No, Jerome, it does not suffice us. Jerome, it must not suffice us. I cannot take this delicious contentment for the true one... We were born for a happiness other than that..."
In the name of this love of God, she continually pushes Jerome away, renouncing human love and happiness. Having renounced earthly pleasure, she naturally wastes away and dies, though only about in her late twenties. Jerome is given her diary after her death, in which she writes that she loves him so much that she has failed to love God more. Despairing, she resolved to help Jerome reach that height of religious virtue that she was unable to reach herself by making it so he could not love her any longer.
Alas! I understand now only too well: between God and him there is no other obstacle but myself. If perhaps, as he says, his love for me at first inclined him to God, now that very love hinders him; he lingers with me, prefers me, and I am become the idol that keeps him back from making further progress in virtue. One of us two must needs attain to it; and as I despair of overcoming the love in my coward heart, grant me, my God, vouchsafe me strength to teach him to love me no longer, so that at the cost of my merits I may bring Thee his, which are so infinitely preferable... Was he not born for something better than to love me?
The cost of her unasked for sacrifice is soon her death, and the last line she writes is, "I should like to die now, quickly, before again realising that I am alone." As a final twist of the knife, Gide has Jerome visit Juliette ten years after Alissa's death, Juliette with 5 children now, and he tells her that he will not love another woman for the rest of his life. She asks him,
"Then you think that one can keep a hopeless love in one's heart for so long as that? And that life can breathe upon it every day, without extinguishing it?"
She puts her hands to her face and begins to cry, and we cannot doubt it is her own love for Jerome of which she was speaking. Lord a'mighty.

Though today we idealize and elevate romantic love, and the deists among us seemingly naturally place God's blessing upon it, this was not always the case. Among the turn of the twentieth century Protestants in northern France, apparently, romantic love and love of God were sometimes seen as rivals, or at least in tension with each other. Gide wrote this novel as a cautionary tale, to explore the taking of this attitude to the extreme. It is a twin tale to his novel The Immoralist, where Michel pursues the opposite extreme of earthly pleasure, also to disaster.

It was also a shot at his wife's tendencies, with whom the homosexual Gide had an unconsummated relationship. His wife who was also his cousin. While The Immoralist, in which a married homosexual man is attracted to Arab boys, is a shot at his own.
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lelandleslie | 22 other reviews | Feb 24, 2024 |
A museum piece. Not one of those that draws the crowds, either; more of a worthy but kind of dull, really, Velazquez.

A companion to Gide's [b:Strait is the Gate|469406|Strait is the Gate (La Porte Etroite)|André Gide|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1347378560s/469406.jpg|702632], in which he explores the dangers of over-religiosity, in The Immoralist he explores the dangers of rejecting the conventional moral life and trying to live for immediate aesthetic and sensual pleasures. Well, kind of. The life Michel leads here is still fairly conventional, even edging on moral, despite his lofty rhetoric otherwise. He just doesn't do much to impress the reader that he's in fact living out his stated aims and rejecting convention.

Which gets to what this story is perhaps really about: repressed homosexuality. I have to take issue with the book description where it states the book is "a frank defense of homosexuality". It is nothing of the kind. In regards to Michel's homosexuality, it is the opposite of frank. It is subtle enough that it apparently went almost totally unnoticed at the time of its publication. Furthermore it is not a defense; Michel is a mostly unsympathetic character, he treats his devoted (painfully so) wife rather appallingly, and as Gide writes in his preface to a later edition of the work, "If I had intended my hero as an example, it must be granted I did anything but succeed." Indeed, I can't imagine anyone thinking at the end of this story, "Man, that Michel, what a great guy."

It may be said this book is an illustration of the torments and harm that can come about through the individual repressing such an elementary, necessary part of him or herself. A repression that can be blamed on society's restrictive conception of what is proper and moral, to be sure. Even when the individual tries to live in a way more true to himself, it may still prove difficult.

The Immoralist may then be more a condemnation of narrow-minded society that produces tormented men like Michel, than of Michel's transgressive actions, or a defense of such a man produced by such a society.

Which all may make the book sound like an entertaining read, but I assure you, the ideas behind the book are more interesting than the book's execution.
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lelandleslie | 45 other reviews | Feb 24, 2024 |
 
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AnkaraLibrary | Feb 23, 2024 |
A 9 month river and overland trek up one river in the Congo (border of Cameroon and what is now the Central African Republic of the Congo) to Lake Chad and down another to the Cameroon-Nigerian border on the Atlantic in 1924-1925. Part film documentary, part hunting trip, part biological collecting, part investigative work commissioned by the French government AG sucked it up and did what white men used to do back in the day. Went on an extended safari. Describes the weather (heat and tornados) the landscape (rivers, canyons, lakes, mountains), sicknesses, foods, and some of the characters and situations they meet. Would not have been printed today for the condescending attitudes towards the natives but was probably enlightened for its time. AG made numerous complaints about companies and mistreatment of the natives. Not alot of fear of large animals though for sure a fear of fever, tse tses, and malaria.… (more)
½
 
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JBreedlove | 1 other review | Dec 3, 2023 |

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Associated Authors

Dorothy Bussy Translator, Author
Robert Mallet Editor, Introduction, Préface, Notes
Marc Allégret Author, Photographer
Colette Author
Jacques Schiffrin Editor, Author
Léon Blum Author
Ruth Goetz Playwright
Augustus Goetz Playwright
Louise O. Fresco Introduction
Oscar Wilde Contributor
Franz Kafka Contributor
Daniël de Lange Translator
Jeff Last Translator
William S. Bell Introduction and Notes
Kjell Strömberg Introduction
Marc Beigbeder Contributor
Michel Rodde Illustrator
Antonio Frasconi Cover designer
Richard Howard Translator
Justin O'Brien Translator, Editor
David Watson Translator
Theo Kurpershoek Cover designer
H. Marsman Translator
Ivo Hristov Translator
A.H. Nijhoff Translator
Edward Gorey Cover artist
Harry Visser Translator
Carmen Castro Translator
Pierre Masson Editor, Author
Jef Last Translator
Martine Sagaert Editor, Contributor
Arnold Bennett Introduction
Eric Plooy Translator
John Russell Translator
Andrew Brown Translator
Percival Pollard Translator
David H. Walker Contributor, Postface
Wade Baskin Translator
Brian Aldiss Translator
Martti Anhava Translator
Malcolm Cowley Translator
Leon Katz Translator
Gertrud Müller Translator
Maurice Nadeau Introduction
John Florio Translator
F.J. de Jong Translator
Catherine Gide Avant-propos
Eric Marty Editor
Françoise Lioure Editor, Introduction
Samuel Putnam Translator
Jean Tipy Editor
Stuart Barr Collaboration
Pierre Lachasse Editor, Introduction
Jean d'Ormesson Présentation
Henri Thomas Preface
Claire Denis Collaboration à l'édition
Alain Goulet Contributor
André Schiffrin Avant-propos
June Guicharnaud Translator
Kevin O'Neill Collaboration
Claude Sicard Introduction
Daniel Durosay Contributor
Jean Delay Editor, Introduction
Céline Dhérin Contributor
Jean Claude Editor, Contributor

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Works
284
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Rating
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Reviews
185
ISBNs
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Languages
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Favorited
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