By Geoffrey T. Harris (auth.)
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Extra resources for André Malraux: A Reassessment
Then I abandoned archeology, organised the Jeune-Annam movement, and later became a Kuomintang commissar in Indochina and finally in Canton' (Je suis aile en Asie a 23 ans, comme charge de mission archeologique. ). 20 Even though this myth had been con- vincingly discredited by the early 1970s21 it still lingers, if only by implication, in the explanatory notes on Les Conquermzts in the 1989 'Pleiade' edition of the noveU 2 Nevertheless, given the increasing doubt surrounding Malraux's presence in Canton, by the early 1970s the Indochina adventure, which had the advantage of being historically verifiable, had begun to displace the China legend as convincing evidence of Malraux's left-wing stance in the twenties.
L'ombre terrestre qui s'allonge derriere les dieux de marbre suffit a IWUS ecarter d'eux. De quelle etreinte l'homme s'est lie a lui-meme! (TO 110-11) Malraux is describing a society in distress. Imbued with what has turned out to be the myth of a coherent universe and an established reality, and betrayed by his blind faith in a human permanence 'which does not exist' (qui n'existe pas; TO 96), European man has 38 Andre Malraux: A Reassessment not only lost his grip on the world but is barely able to identify any reality at all: 'Europe is dominated by the more or less distinct idea that it is impossible to grasp any reality whatsoever' (Plus ou mains nette, /'idee de l'impossibilite de saisir une realite quelconque domine /'Europe; TO 108).
E. Lawrence, is scheduled to appear in the not too distant future, L'Homme precaire can be considered as the author's last essay on the arts. As such it is a final demonstration of the startling coherence of Malraux's lifelong struggle to refute man's transience. L'Homme precaire reiterates not only the disabused Weltanschauung of La Tentation de l'Occidmt and 'D'une jeunesse europeenne' - 'Man is first and foremost dependency, be 22 Andre Malraux: A Reassessment it only on account of the absurd, because he will die' (L'homme est d'abord dependance, fut-ce de l'absurde, puisqu'ilmourra; HP, 298)- but also the cautious humanism of the art essays: 'We no longer confuse metamorphosis with immortality' (Nous ne confondons plus Ia metamorphose avec l'immortalite; HP, 19).