1869 – 1951
Who was André Gide?
André Paul Guillaume Gide was a French author and winner of the Nobel Prize in literature in 1947. Gide's career ranged from its beginnings in the symbolist movement, to the advent of anticolonialism between the two World Wars.
Known for his fiction as well as his autobiographical works, Gide exposes to public view the conflict and eventual reconciliation between the two sides of his personality, split apart by a straitlaced education and a narrow social moralism. Gide's work can be seen as an investigation of freedom and empowerment in the face of moralistic and puritanical constraints, and gravitates around his continuous effort to achieve intellectual honesty. His self-exploratory texts reflect his search of how to be fully oneself, even to the point of owning one's sexual nature, without at the same time betraying one's values. His political activity is informed by the same ethos, as suggested by his repudiation of communism after his 1936 voyage to the USSR.
- The abominable effort to take one's sins with one to paradise.
- Complete possession is proved only by giving. All you are unable to give possesses you.
- It is easier to lead men to combat, stirring up their passion, than to restrain them and direct them toward the patient labors of peace.
- There is no prejudice that the work of art does not finally overcome.
- A straight path never leads anywhere except to the objective.
- Are you then unable to recognize unless it has the same sound as yours?
- Fish die belly upward, and rise to the surface. Its their way of falling.
- Old hands soil, it seems, whatever they caress, but they too have their beauty when they are joined in prayer. Young hands were made for caresses and the sheathing of love. It is a pity to make them join too soon.
- Most quarrels amplify a misunderstanding.
- It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.