By Geoffrey T. Harris (auth.)
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Additional info for André Malraux: A Reassessment
Similarly now, his commitment to ·Gaullism had scant connection with any clearly defined political programme, but the General's visionary nationalism seemed to constitute the only powerbase with sufficient authority to counter the Communists' ambitions. Furthermore, Malraux cannot have failed to be attracted by the legendary figure which de Gaulle already represented, a figure who would not have been out of place among the heroes who play such a key role in Malraux's novels, an interchangeability the novelist would later evoke in general terms in a book-length tribute to de Gaulle: 'The hero from History is the brother of the hero from fiction' (Le heros de l'Histoire est le frere du heros de roman; CS 176).
In 1933, the year La Condition humaine appeared, and some three years after the Vietnamese Communist Party had officially been founded in Hong Kong, and at a time when over 10 000 Vietnamese nationalists were languishing in colonial prisons, Malraux was still presenting Communism as a danger which could be avoided, and still insisting that Vietnam's future remained within an enlightened French empire: 'The creation of a "democratic French empire" with one hundred million inhabitants is a bold hypothesis.
Man had become From Literary Cubism to Polemics and Metaphysics 37 his own absolute: 'The whole of the nineteenth century is driven by an impetus which, on account of its power and its amplitude, can only be compared to a religion. It is expressed primarily by an extreme enthusiasm, a sort of passion for Man who becomes his own replacement for God' (Un elan dirige tout le XIXc siecle, qui ne peut etre compare, pour Ia puissance et /'importance, qu'a une religion. II se manifeste d'abord par un gout extreme, une sorte de passion de /'Homme, qui prend en lui-meme Ia place qu'il domwit a Dieu).
André Malraux: A Reassessment by Geoffrey T. Harris (auth.)