By David Bevan

The 2 central axes of inquiry are Malraux's ongoing quest for a measurement of transcendence inside of human lifestyles and, at lest as compelling, his look for the main applicable and powerful potential wherein to specific a altering expertise of simply what that size may be. now not strangely, in an international it sounds as if doomed to languish within the spectral shadow of loss of life, there are particular constants: a craving for a few fraternity to wrestle man's crucial solitude, a refusal to sink with no attempt into the vortex of the Absurd, a conviciton that lifestyles is to be lived totally and very. The human situation is what it really is. The ways that Malraux's characters, and naturally Malraux himself, take care of this display a transparent evolution, in particular from the 1933 novel los angeles humaine onwards. The reader follows Malraux from playful youth in the course of the dichotomy of discomfort and glorification in his heart years, in the direction of the essentially interrogative utterances of the mature guy. the customarily frivolous, occasionally sardonic, humour of minor provides approach first to a painful reputation of the abyss, then to the invention of a truly tentative equilibrium within the philosophy of metamorphosis espoused through an older Malraux. Andre Malraux: in the direction of the Expression of Transcendence unearths the primary steps through which Malraux completed that equilibrium.

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Extra info for Andre Malraux: Towards the Expression of Transcendence

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In his most common avatar, Yama is portrayed in threatening, bull-headed form, bearing in the right hand a skull-topped club, and in the left a snare or skull cap filled with blood. His attribute, the blue-coloured bull on which he is standing, is itself kneeling on a female body which it is either crushing or penetrating sexually. 5 Perhaps more inviting, and certainly more profoundly instructive, is the main legend relating to Yama, one which seems to propose Death, not as a total negative, but rather in the guise of a challenge or interrogative, as an experience which must in some way be contested.

22 Characteristically, Malraux proceeds to provide his own reflective answer, and it is towards the East that he turns for illumination: the Bhagavad Gita becomes Elephanta, becomes Oman, becomes Singapore, as we are focused relentlessly once more onto butterflies*. 23 And it is this passage which elucidates the final character of the allusive butterfly. Its patent mortality - "la vie moyenne d'un papillon dure deux mois"24 - is decisively offset for Malraux, both by the duration of its tenacious survival as a form of life on this planet - "ils ont deux cent soixante millions d'annees"25 and by its ubiquity - "depuis 1'Equateur jusqu'au cap Nord ...

The second principal period in Malraux's evolution would seem to 37 On the Comic extend approximately from Indochina to the early post-war years. Certainly during this period one can point to substantial alteration in the frame of reference to be associated with butterfly and monster, as the notion of the farfelu becomes inseparable from a confrontation with man's tragic condition. Perhaps the most challenging appearances of butterflies in the novels are those which see them dancing around a dead, even multilated, human body.

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