Oscar Wilde by Andre Gide
A Biography

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Personal recollections from André Gide on a man who profoundly influenced his work—Oscar Wilde André Gide, a towering figure in French letters, draws upon his friendship with Oscar Wilde to sketch a compelling portrait of the tragic, doomed author, both celebrated and shunned in his time. Rather than compile a complete biography, Gide invites us to discover Wilde as he did—from their first meeting in 1891 to their final parting just two years before Wilde’s death—all told through Gide’s sensitive, incomparable prose. Using his notes, recollections, and conversations, Gide illuminates Wilde as a man whose true art was not writing, but living. This ebook features a new introduction by Jeanine Parisier Plottel, selected quotes, and an image gallery.

About Andre Gide

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Gide, the reflective rebel against bourgeois morality and one of the most important and controversial figures in modern European literature, published his first book anonymously at the age of 18. Gide was born in Paris, the only child of a law professor and a strict Calvinist mother. As a young man, he was an ardent member of the symbolist group, but the style of his later work is more in the tradition of classicism. Much of his work is autobiographical, and the story of his youth and early adult years and the discovery of his own sexual tendencies is related in Si le grain ne meurt (If it die . . .) (1926). Corydon (1923) deals with the question of homosexuality openly. Gide's reflections on life and literature are contained in his Journals (1954), which span the years 1889--1949. He was a founder of the influential Nouvelle Revue Francaise, in which the works of many prominent modern European authors appeared, and he remained a director until 1941. He resigned when the journal passed into the hands of the collaborationists. Gide's sympathies with communism prompted him to travel to Russia, where he found the realities of Soviet life less attractive than he had imagined. His accounts of his disillusionment were published as Return from the U.S.S.R. (1937) and Afterthoughts from the U.S.S.R. (1938). Always preoccupied with freedom, a champion of the oppressed and a skeptic, he remained an incredibly youthful spirit. Gide himself classified his fiction into three categories: satirical tales with elements of farce like Les Caves du Vatican (Lafcadio's Adventures) (1914), which he termed soties; ironic stories narrated in the first person like The Immoralist (1902) and Strait Is the Gate (1909), which he called recits; and a more complex narrative related from a multifaceted point of view, which he called a roman (novel). The only example of the last category that he published was The Counterfeiters (1926). Throughout his career, Gide maintained an extensive correspondence with such noted figures as Valery, Claudel, Rilke, and others. In 1947, he received the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Published February 14, 2012 by Philosophical Library/Open Road. 64 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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When he encountered Wilde and his young lover, Alfred, Lord Douglas, on a subsequent trip there in 1895, Gide called Wilde in his diary “the most dangerous product of modern civilisation,” though this time he was referring to both Wilde’s artistic celebrity and his open courting of scandal.

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