Cover image for André Gide : a life in the present
André Gide : a life in the present
Sheridan, Alan.
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Publication Information:
Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1999.

Physical Description:
xix, 709 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, genealogical table ; 25 cm
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PQ2613.I2 Z69 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
PQ2613.I2 Z69 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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A biography of the life and work of André Gide, the author whose works are considered to have marked the beginnings of the modern novel. The text covers aspects of the man's political and sexual awakenings, referring to his writings on those subjects, as well as exploring his approach to fictional work.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Sheridans biography of Andr Gide (18691951) answers a need for a thorough, well-documented study of the French Nobelists life, including insightful analyses of his literary works. Sheridan (Michel Foucault: The Will to Truth, Routledge, 1993) rightfully acknowledges the futility of strict adherence to literary history in interpreting Gides work, but he does delineate the process by which the author transmutes the material of his life into the work. Sheridan perceptively examines the structure of each of Gides works and their relation to each other. Gide, a homosexual, married his first cousin Madeleine Rondeaux, but the marriage was never consummated. At age 43, he fathered a daughter with a friend, a woman who did not want marriage. Although he had many sexual dalliances with adolescents and young men, the most enduring was with film director Marc Allgret, a man more than 30 years his junior. Sheridan has written an excellent biography of a great 20th-century writer. Highly recommended.Robert T. Ivey, Univ. of Memphis, Bartlett (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Noted author and translator of works by Sartre, Lacan, and Foucault, Sheridan provides the most thorough literary biography since Gide's death in 1951. It supersedes by far Thomas Cordle's Andre Gide (CH, Jul'93), Pierre Auregan's Gide (1994), and Claude Martin's Gide par lui-meme (1963; rev. 1995), the latter two in French. Writing in remarkable, accessible prose that leaves scarcely a stone unturned, Sheridan integrates Gide's life and fiction. The treatment of the early years (particularly 1865-95) details Gide's strict Calvinistic upbringing and his first attempts to come to grips with his homosexuality. Succeeding chapters look at Gide's complex, dualistic nature in matters of sex, religion, and politics and at early works: Paludes, L'Immoraliste, La Porte etroite, and Les Caves du Vatican. Sheridan also explores Gide's overriding literary reputation in the 1920s, brief flirtation with communism in 1936, refusal to collaborate with the Vichy Regime in 1940, and his little-known but tireless efforts to free German emigres from French internment camps. The author devotes the last few pages to Gide's waning health after WW II, and his conclusion assesses Gide's role and literary influence. Among the best treatments of Gide, this volume will be a point of departure for anyone interested in Gide or French literature. All academic and public libraries. R. Merker Grambling State University

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. ix
Introductionp. xi
1 Two Stars, Two Races, Two Provinces, Two Faithsp. 1
2 Childhood: Schooldays and Holidays (October 1874-October 1880)p. 10
3 Youth: God and Love (October 1880-September 1889)p. 28
4 Andre Walter: Puritan and Narcissist (October 1889-June 1891)p. 54
5 The Ironic Narcissist: Le Traite du Narcisse, Poesies d'Andre Walter, Le Voyage d'Urien, La Tentative amoureuse (June 1891-October 1893)p. 72
6 Liberation and ... Engagement: 'J'ecris ... Paludes' (October 1893-June 1895)p. 93
7 Marriage and Nomadism: Les Nourritures terrestres, Saul, Le Promethee mal enchaine, Philoctete (June 1895-October 1898)p. 128
8 High Hopes Brought Low: Le Roi Candaule and L'Immoraliste (November 1898 - October 1902)p. 165
9 The Barren Years: Le Retour de l'Enfant prodigue and La Porte etroite (October 1902-October 1908)p. 195
10 The 'New' Gide and the Founding of the NRF: Isabelle and Les Caves du Vatican (October 1908-August 1914)p. 233
11 The War: De Profundis, Summer's Lease (August 1914-November 1918)p. 280
12 The Post-War Years: La Symphonie Pastorale (November 1918-December 1921)p. 316
13 Gide, Homosexual Theorist and Father: Corydon and Les Faux-Monnayeurs (January 1922-July 1925)p. 351
14 Heart of Darkness: Voyage au Congo and L'Ecole des femmes (July 1925-December 1930)p. 401
15 Gide, 'Fellow-traveller': Oedipe, Persephone and Les Nouvelles Nourritures (January 1931-June 1936)p. 441
16 Retreat from Moscow, a Sense of Ending: Retour de l'U.R.S.S. and Genevieve (June 1936-September 1939)p. 492
17 Another War: Retreat and Exile (September 1939-May 1945)p. 538
18 'The End of Life ... A Rather Dull Last Act': Thesee and Ainsi soit-il (May 1945-February 1951)p. 570
Conclusionp. 621
Notes and Referencesp. 635
Bibliographyp. 655
Family Trees: The Gide Familyp. 676
The Rondeaux Familyp. 677
Indexp. 679