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Man's Fate (The Modern Library, 33.3) (original 1933; edition 1950)
by André Malraux (Author)
Man's Fate by André Malraux (1933)
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I read an English translation of an early edition. If you are interested in the Communist uprising and its suppression in Shanghai in 1927 or how those things might work, then please add some stars. This seems to be very realistic historical fiction.
This novel is impossible to enjoy as intended without a good deal of historical background or the benefit of a critical edition. Part Three contains particularly esoteric dialogue. That said, Malraux's prose is at its most engaging when it is abstracted, contemplative, and full of existential melancholy.
Characters dealing with life and death during war.
It has been said in other reviews that "Much is lost in translation." In fact, this is a horrible translation. The work deserves a new life at the hands of someone capable of rendering it into fluid readable English. And who was the editor who let Chevalier get away with the many nearly incomprehensible long single sentences containing a colon, and a semicolon, and half a dozen misplaced commas? Perhaps there wasn't one.
Worth the read in spite of the poor translation and much enhanced by also reading the history of the period. Striking foreshadowing.
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Malraux : Oeuvres complètes, tome 1 by André Malraux (indirect)
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Wikipedia in English (2)
As explosive and immediate today as when it was originally published in 1933, Man's Fate (La Condition Humaine), an account of a crucial episode in the early days of the Chinese Revolution, foreshadows the contemporary world and brings to life the profound meaning of the revolutionary impulse for the individuals involved. As a study of conspiracy and conspirators, of men caught in the desperate clash of ideologies, betrayal, expediency, and free will, Andre Malraux's novel remains unequaled. Translated from the French by Haakon M. Chevalier
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)843.912 — Literature French French fiction Modern Period 20th Century 1900-1945
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An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.