“MAN IS WHAT HE HIDES”: MALRAUX NOVEL “THE WALNUT TREES OF ALTENBURG”

May 2, 2011 at 12:55 am | Posted in Books, France, History, Literary, Philosophy | Leave a comment

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“Fundamentally speaking, man is what he hides”

“Man is what he conceals”

(Howard Fertig edition, 1989, pages 67 and 95)

The Walnut Trees of Altenburg

Andre Malraux

Product Details:

  • Pub. Date: March 1992
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Format: Paperback , 224pp
  • Series: Phoenix Fiction Series
  • ISBN-13: 9780226502892
  • ISBN: 0226502899
  • Edition Description: 1

Synopsis

“One of the key texts of Malraux’s work . . . [its] pages must be counted among the most haunting in all of twentieth century literature.”—Victor Brombert

“The description of the gas attack on the Russian front in 1915 will never be forgotten by anyone who has read it. . . . [Malraux] writes with the precision, the certitude and the authority of an obsessed person who knows that he has found the essence of what he has been looking for.”—Conor Cruise O’Brien, from the Foreword

Malraux’s greatest novel, Man’s Fate, gave a grim, lurid picture of human suffering. [The Walnut Trees of Altenburg], written by a life-long observer of violent upheaval and within the shadows of World War II, gives a calm, thoughtful vision of humanistic endeavor that can transcend the absurdity of existence. Mature readers will find this a rewarding visit to one of the most accomplished writers of our time.”—Choice

Library Journal

This is an outstanding translation of Malraux’s last novel, written during the early years of World War II. (The 1948 Gallimard French edition, Les Noyers de l’Altenburg , is no longer in print.) The famous pages describing the German poison gas attack on the Russians at the Eastern front in 1915 are as haunting as ever;human life and nature are sickeningly destroyed, leaving Vincent Berger, who experiences the horror, with the overwhelming and desperate urge simply to be happy. Themes present in Malraux’s earlier works–particularly the alienation of modern man caught between action and intellect, political forces and human freedom, permanence and change–are powerfully conveyed again by the author. English-speaking readers already familiar with Malraux’s writings will welcome this first English version.– Anthony Caprio, American Univ., Washington, D.C.

Biography

André Malraux (1901-76) served as Minister of Culture in Charles de Gaulle’s cabinet. His many works include Man’s Fate, Anti-Memoirs, The Conquerors, and The Temptation of the West, the latter two published by the University of Chicago Press.

“Fundamentally speaking, man is what he hides”

“Man is what he conceals”

(Howard Fertig edition, 1989, pages 67 and 95)

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