Les modernit's de Gide ou Gide moderne d'emploi.

Steel, D. A. (2002) Les modernit's de Gide ou Gide moderne d'emploi. In: Andr' Gide et la tentation de la modernit': actes du colloque international de Mulhouse (25-27 octobre 2001). Gallimard. ISBN 2070767434

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After considerations of the concept of 'modernity' and 'modernism' and of Gide's sceptical attitude towards both, his avoidance, in his fiction, of the technological apparatus of modernity is noted in this chapter. Gide belonged to a belle-lettriste tradition, espousing notions of classical form and style. Outer aspects of society interest him less than inner workings of the mind. Some aspects of modernism ' Ecole de Paris art, the bohemian avant-garde, he probably misjudged. While eschewing flash cultural fashions or the cult of modernity for its own sake, Gide's work merits appellation as modern in numerous ways. Gide's anticipation of Freudian analysis and, later, of Feminism, are noted, as are his attempts to reconcile in fiction the literary and the scientific, his cosmopolitanism, his openness to international influence, and his early practice of travel literature. Gide formulated early concepts of nomadisme and retour ' la nature. His formal experiments in fiction were constant: first-person subjective narrative, frame narratives, with skilful use of the diary to achieve specularity - mise en ab'me is an original Gidean concept in literature. In politics, sexuality and religion he pioneered modern attitudes. In late life, he espoused Communism, before exiting the cause with a resounding early critique of Stalinism. An enthusiastic colonial sexual tourist when young, he came to denounce colonialism. His increasingly courageous sexual stance in literature foreshadowed gay liberation. He moved from Puritanism, via anguished doubt, to believe man responsible for God. Ultimately Gide refused hidebound theory, enclosure within any form of doxa, preferring the play of oppositions, open-ended dialectic, passage through to repeated self-reinvention. In all this he was modern ' establishing his modernness from a deep-rooted sense of intimate personal responsibility for the future rather from adoption of any modish cultural movement.

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06 Mar 2008 14:57
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21 Nov 2022 13:44