André Malraux : towards the expression of transcendence by David Bevan

By David Bevan

The vital axes of inquiry are Malraux's ongoing quest for a measurement of transcendence inside human existence and, at lest as compelling, his look for the main acceptable and powerful capability through which to specific a altering know-how of simply what that size should be. now not unusually, in a global it sounds as if doomed to languish within the spectral shadow of dying, there are particular constants: a longing for a few fraternity to wrestle man's crucial solitude, a refusal to sink with no attempt into the vortex of the Absurd, a conviciton that lifestyles is to be lived absolutely and very. The human is what it's. The ways that Malraux's characters, and naturally Malraux himself, take care of this show a transparent evolution, particularly from the 1933 novel los angeles situation humaine onwards. The reader follows Malraux from playful formative years during the dichotomy of affliction and glorification in his heart years, in the direction of the essentially interrogative utterances of the mature guy. the usually frivolous, occasionally sardonic, humour of youngster supplies means first to a painful attractiveness of the abyss, then to the invention of a truly tentative equilibrium within the philosophy of metamorphosis espoused through an older Malraux. André Malraux: in the direction of the Expression of Transcendence unearths the vital steps wherein Malraux completed that equilibrium.

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Devoid of detail and devoid of flesh, they serve to bestow on the carnal coupling about to take place below a symbolic quality that is both impersonal and de-sexualized. Eroticism, for Malraux, is in all ways, and always, an ultimately negative and unfulfilling experience. But should we go further in our conclusions? Certainly, Malraux's preface to Lady Chatterley's Lover, as we have already observed, invites us to attempt to discover in the erotic "le moyen de notre propre revelation," "le systeme de references de notre vie," and certainly the plastic and iconographic resonance of the Tibetan banner is extremely provocative.

6 On occasion in this novel free indirect style is modified and becomes, in the present tense, more akin to free direct style7 as Kassner7 s imagination, increasingly vivid under the strain of incarceration and torture, is so presented to the reader: Les popes sortis du tertre commencent a avancer, dalmatiques et tiares, sous les croix et les bannieres, et une irr£alite sans limites anime ce tr£sor en marche, cette folie d'orfevre lachee dans les champs boueux, avec toutes les barbes blanches et ces tremblotants reflets de perles et d'argent sous la lune.

These are just some of the questions which must surely be considered if we are to enter fully into Malraux's vision of man. A suitable departure point in seeking some tentative answers would be to note that, in the Lamaist pantheon, intertwined skeletons are usually associated with Yama, the Buddhist Pluto or God of Death;4 indeed, some scholars maintain that in many instances they are actually emanations of Yama himself. Certainly, the stories which surround Yama project most forcefully an intriguingly Malrucian aura of death, dominance, menace, and sexuality.

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