Beginning with a single entry for the year 1889, when he was twenty, and continuing intermittently but indefatigably through his life, the Journals of Andr Gide constitute an enlightening, moving, and endlessly fascinating chronicle of creative energy and conviction. Astutely and thoroughly annotated by Justin O'Brien in consultation with Gide himself, this translation is the definitive edition of Gide's complete journals.The complete journals, representing sixty years of a varied life, testify to a disciplined intelligence in a constantly maturing thought. These pages contain aesthetic appreciations, philosophic reflections, sustained literary criticism, notes for the composition of his works, details of his personal life and spiritual conflicts, accounts of his extensive travels, and comments on the political and social events of the day, from the Dreyfus case to the German occupation.Gide records his progress as a writer and a reader as well as his contacts and conversations with the bright lights of contemporary Europe, from Paul Valry, Paul Claudel, Lon Blum, and Auguste Rodin to Marcel Proust, Stephen Mallarm, Oscar Wilde, and Nadia Boulanger.Devoid of affectation, alternately overtaken by depression and animated by a sense of urgency and hunger for literature and beauty, Gide read voraciously, corresponded voluminously, and thought profoundly, always questioning and doubting in search of the unadulterated truth.
'The only drama that really interests me and that I should always be willing to depict anew', he wrote, 'is the debate of the individual with whatever keeps him from being authentic, with whatever is opposed to his integrity, to his integration. Most often the obstacle is within him. And all the rest is merely accidental'. Volume 4 reveals a creative mind that remains vigorous and unique as Gide enters his seventies. He records the fall of France and the German occupation during World War II, the landing of the Americans and the fall of Tunis, as well as a memorable meeting with General de Gaulle. His literary commentary touches on such writers as Virgil, Goethe, Racine, Dashiell Hammett, and John Steinbeck.show more