The Conquerors by Andre Malraux
(Phoenix Fiction)

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Synopsis

The Conquerors describes the struggle between the Kuomintang and the Communists in the Cantonese revolution of the 1920s. It is both an exciting war story and a gallery of intellectual portraits: a ruthless Bolshevik revolutionary, a disillusioned master of propaganda, a powerful Chinese pacifist, and a young anarchist. Each of these "conquerors" will be crushed by the revolution they try to control.

In a new Foreword, Herbert R. Lottman discusses the political background of the book, and the extent to which Malraux invented the history he wrote about.

"[The Conquerors] is a valuable introduction to Malraux himself, who would, like his fictional counterpart, become an analgam of talents as novelist, essayist, Leftist and Gaullist, Resistance hero and art critic. He was among the most 'universal' of French men of letters."—Choice

"The novel can be enjoyed as a remarkable work of modernism. With images derived from the silent cinema and prose from the telegraph, it moves at a tremendous pace. Canton all comes to violent life, seen as though from a speeding car."—Kirkus

"No other writer of the 20th century had the same capacity to translate his personal adventure into a meeting with history and a dialogue of civilization."—Carlos Fuentes, New York Times Book Review
 

About Andre Malraux

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Andre (Georges) Malraux, 1901- 1976 French novelist Andre Malraux was born in Paris to a wealthy family. His father was Fernand-Georges Malraux, a stockbroker, and his mother was Berthe (Lamy) Malraux. He attended the Lycee Condorcet and studied oriental languages at the Ecole des Langues Orientales. His parents separated when he was a child, and his mother brought him up. His father committed suicide in 1930. Malraux was also considered an adventurer, art historian, and statesman. He was the Minister for Cultural Affairs for eleven years from 1958-1969. He worked as an art editor at Gallimard publishers in Paris. He attended archaeological expeditions in Iran and Afghanistan. At the age of twenty-one, Malraux went to Cambodia with his wife, writer Clara Goldsmidt, where he was imprisoned for taking bas-reliefs from a Khmer temple. In 1925, he went to Saigon and joined the anti-colonial Young Annam League. In World War II, Malraux served in a French tank Unit. He was wounded and captured, but he managed to escape and join the Resistance where he met General Charles de Gaulle. He escaped a second capture in 1944 and received the Medaille de la Resistance, the Croix de Guerre and the British Distinguished Service Order for his service. Malraux's short novel "Le Temps De Mapris" (1935), tells the story of a Communist who's held prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp. In the Spanish Civil War, Malraux fought for the Republicans (1936-1939). He was wounded twice in the effort to stop Franco's advance on Madrid. His novel "L'Espoir" (1937) tells of Republican Spain in combat. This was also adapted for the screen in 1938 and the film was titled Sierrade Teruel. After "L'Espoir", Malraux divorced and had a liaison with Josette Clotis. She died in a railroad accident in 1945. At this time, Malraux broke from communism and began writing non-fiction. In 1948, Malrauxe married Marie-Madeline Lioux, a concert pianist and widow of his half-brother. In 1961, he lost his two sons in an accident. In 1958, when de Gaulle came to power, he was appointed first Minister of Information and then, a year later, Minister of State for Cultural Affairs. In 1967, Malraux's autobiography "Anti-Memoires" was published. In it, Malraux mixed fact with fiction and excerpts from his novels. Later volumes of his personal recollections involved Pablo Picasso, Leopold Sedar Senghor and de Gaulle. In "Felled Oaks" (1971), Malraux tells of his conversations with de Gaulle, his political idol. After leaving politics, Malraux retired to a suburb of Paris and continued to write until his death on November 23, 1976.
 
Published January 1, 1929 by Jonathan Cape. 212 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Interest in Andre Malraux as the epitome of the artist-intellectual who theatrically turned to action will make this new translation welcome.

Oct 21 1976 | Read Full Review of The Conquerors (Phoenix Fiction)

London Review of Books

‘He’s the one great epic novelist of the revolution to come that never came.’ ‘All of a sudden, after the war, his novels seemed to me to have no literary value whatsoever,’ ‘I find them naff.’ ‘In L’Espoir he is immersed in the action and that makes his art great,’ ‘He was a fake: he always pret...

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