André Malraux: A Reassessment
This analysis of Andre Malraux's work and of the salient features of his career cuts through the customary eulogies, the conventional binary leftwing-rightwing caricature of his politics and the Malraux myth, to establish a balanced reassessment of an extraordinary figure who was centre-stage on the French cultural scene for over half a century. Adventurer-turned-journalist in Indochina in the twenties, internationally famous revolutionary novelist by the mid-thirties, Republican air-squadron commander in the Spanish Civil War, French Resistance hero, unconditional Gaullist and anti-Communist crusader at the Liberation, de Gaulle's Minister of State for Culture from 1959, author of contentious art essays and acclaimed (anti)memorialist in the sixties and seventies, Malraux's controversial life-work is however, as Geoffrey Harris suggests, essentially non-ideological although geared to a strangely elitist humanism and driven by a sometimes authoritarian determination to transpose human activity from the mundane to the sublime.
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