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Book Title: The Narrow Gate|
Date of issue: November 4th 2013
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
The author of the book: André Gide
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 6.44 MB
Edition: Walter Ballenberger
Read full description of the books The Narrow Gate:André Gide is a very famous French author. He was the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1947. La Porte Etroite was one of his most famous novels and was originally published in 1909, fairly early in Gide’s career, but he had already published close to two dozen other works by then. There was another English translation published about 70 years ago or so. The title of that translation was “Strait Is the Gate”. I have chosen to use a more literal translation of Gide’s original title in French. I have never read this translation, by the way, or any portion of it. This is a story of two people who are very deeply in love, but their love does not evolve in any sort of normal manner.
The narrator of the story is Jérôme who falls in love at an early age with his first cousin Alissa who is two years older than him. As time and their story move on, there are a lot of questions that arise about why their relationship “does not evolve in any sort of normal manner” as I mentioned above. Discussing them in this description would probably give too much away and ruin the reading experience for many. Suffice it to say that their love for each other is truly very deep, and the answers to most, if not all, open questions can be found in the last chapter which is Alissa’s diary.
This is the seventh classic French novel I have translated, and it is always interesting to get a glimpse of how people lived before automobiles, television, phones, internet, video games, and Netflix. Life has changed a lot during the past century, but what has not changed are human emotions. The emotions felt and expressed by these and other characters in this novel are very clearly understandable by people in today’s modern world. They are not outdated.
I found it interesting that the story takes place in Normandy in and around Le Havre. The description of the area in the book makes it sound bucolic which I found ironic. It may have been bucolic more than 100 years ago when Gide wrote the story, but we visited there several years ago intending to stay for a few days. We left early after only one night. The whole area is full of refineries which put off an odd smell. I can say this is one of our least favorite spots in all of France, and we have been practically everywhere. I’m glad to hear Le Havre wasn’t always like that. By the way, if memory serves we left Le Havre and went to Honfleur which is only about a half hour drive. Honfleur is a superb medieval port village and is one of our favorite spots in France. Anyone visiting Normandy should check it out.
I hope readers enjoy this translation of a famous classic French novel by a Nobel Laureate.
Read information about the authorAndré Paul Guillaume Gide was a French author and winner of the Nobel Prize in literature in 1947. Gide's career ranged from its beginnings in the symbolist movement, to the advent of anticolonialism between the two World Wars.
Known for his fiction as well as his autobiographical works, Gide exposes to public view the conflict and eventual reconciliation between the two sides of his personality, split apart by a straight-laced education and a narrow social moralism. Gide's work can be seen as an investigation of freedom and empowerment in the face of moralistic and puritan constraints, and gravitates around his continuous effort to achieve intellectual honesty. His self-exploratory texts reflect his search of how to be fully oneself, even to the point of owning one's sexual nature, without at the same time betraying one's values. His political activity is informed by the same ethos, as suggested by his repudiation of communism after his 1936 voyage to the USSR.
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