Andre Malraux: An Age of Oppression by Roberta Newnham PDF

By Roberta Newnham

Aimed to coincide with the centenary of Malraux's beginning, André Malraux: An Age of Oppression is the 1st translation/annotated version of Le Temps de mépris in a complete layout. the tale (with the emphasis upon the mental trauma suffered via a German political prisoner of the Nazis within the early Nineteen Thirties) marks an important second in Malraux's literary oeuvre, and a prophetic perception into the ancient implications of the placement triumphing in pre-World warfare II Nazi Germany.

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The initial feeling of euphoria which had buoyed him up when they had closed his cell door was now degenerating into anxiety: it was ebbing away from him in waves, like shreds of tattered clothing, away from his sensitive skin, and even from his clothes which had become as limp as nightwear. They had ripped off his braces and shoelaces (so suicide wasn’t going to be an option then), and cut off his buttons, so that the very material of his clothing seemed to have been transformed. Was it that hole, or was it the pain which was gradually boring through his feverishness, or was it the darkness that was making him feel so oppressed?

Shaken by the hymn, Kassner lurched forward in spite of himself, rather like a shattered skeleton. But now, hard upon another haunting memory which the voices had conjured up in his mind, despite the profoundly morbid recollections they had initially triggered off, loomed the memory of a hundred thousand men singing revolutionary songs in a rousing chorus (and there is nothing more exhilarating in music than a resounding phrase, sung out by a multitude of men in total unison), the lusty chorus ebbing and flowing over the heads of the crowd like the shimmering patterns traced by the wind across immense wheatfields, right to the horizon.

He was becoming more and more obsessed by a nightmare in which he was locked in a cage with a vulture which, using its beak like a pick-axe, was tearing off bits of his skin each time it pecked him while its beady eyes were constantly fixed on his own in a steady, covetous gaze. The vulture edged nearer, swollen and grotesque after hours of gorging on the black blood of darkness but the music out-matched it, triumphant. It overwhelmed Kassner and took possession of his senses. Gelsenkirchen13 is ice-bound: a dog is barking at a flight of wild ducks on the wing, the sound dying out in the spikily quiet, icy intimacy of the snow; loud-hailers calling for strikes are competing with the mines’ sirens; sunflowers, their yellow petals crushed and bloodstained, lying strewn out, flattened by the partisans’ fighting.

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