This is the foremost autobiographical assertion from Nobel laureate André Gide. within the occasions and musings recorded right here we discover the seeds of these topics that obsessed him all through his occupation and imbued his vintage novels The Immoralist and The Counterfeiters.
Gide led a lifetime of uncompromising self-scrutiny, and his literary works resembled moments of that existence. With If It Die, Gide decided to relay with out sentiment or embellishment the conditions of his formative years and the delivery of his philosophic wanderings, and in doing so as to deliver all of it to mild. Gide’s unapologetic account of his awakening gay hope and his portrait of Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas as they indulged in debauchery in North Africa are exciting of their frankness and on my own make If It Die an crucial better half to the paintings of a twentieth-century literary master.
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Additional info for If It Die . . .: An Autobiography
The circuitous methods I undefined, the blinding dazzlement of happiness in the direction of which they led, is what I now suggest to inform. At that second, whilst i used to be in my 20th yr, i used to be starting to have the conviction that not anything may possibly occur to me that was once no longer lucky; I saved this conviction until eventually a number of months ago1 and that i give some thought to the development that without warning made me doubt it as essentially the most momentous of my lifestyles. but even after such doubting, I recovered myself—so imperious is the decision of my pleasure, so powerful my trust that the situation which at the beginning sight turns out the main unlucky, is, on nearer exam, additionally the only probably to teach us, that there's a soul of goodness in issues evil, and that if quite often we fail to realize happiness, reason why it comes donning a special face from the single we have been awaiting. yet i'm expecting, and that i shall wreck my tale if I characterize myself as having already attained a kingdom of happiness which I not often imagined attainable, which, particularly, I hardly ever dared think permissible. while afterward I knew extra of lifestyles, every thing doubtless appeared less complicated; i used to be capable of smile on the colossal torments little problems prompted me, and make contact with through their correct identify propensities which have been nonetheless obscure and which terrified me simply because i couldn't figure their contours. on the time of which i'm conversing, I had every little thing to find; I needed to invent either the torment and its remedy, and that i can't say which of the 2 i presumed the extra significant. My Puritan schooling had taught me to connect quite a bit significance to sure issues, that i couldn't conceive that the questions which agitated me weren't of passionate curiosity to humanity often and to every person specifically. i used to be like my very own Prometheus Ill-Bound who couldn't know how it was once attainable to stay with out an eagle, or with out being wolfed by way of it. For that subject, I unconsciously loved my eagle; yet i used to be commencing to come to phrases with it. definite; my challenge remained an analogous, yet as I complicated in existence, i assumed it much less negative, and checked out it from an perspective that used to be much less acute. What challenge? it might be very tricky to outline it in a couple of phrases. yet first of all, used to be it no longer an excellent aspect challenge existed? decreased to the easiest attainable expression, it was once this: within the identify of what God or what excellent, do you forbid me to reside in response to my nature? And the place may my nature lead me if I easily it? as much as the current, I had approved Christ’s code of morals, or at any fee, a type of Puritanism which I have been taught to contemplate as Christ’s code of morals. via forcing myself to undergo it I had basically prompted a profound disturbance in my entire being. i wouldn't consent to dwell lawlessly, and that i required my mind’s assent to the calls for of my physique. no matter if these calls for have been extra traditional, I doubt no matter if I must have been much less bothered. for so long as i assumed it my accountability to disclaim my hope every little thing, what I wanted didn't subject. yet I steadily got here to wonder if God quite exacted such constraints, no matter if it used to be now not impious to be in continuous uprising, even if such uprising, used to be no longer opposed to Him, and even if, within the fight that divided me, it used to be average to think about the opponent continuously within the flawed.