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Book Title: A Condição Humana|
Date of issue: 1998
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
The author of the book: André Malraux
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 387 KB
Read full description of the books A Condição Humana:Why would I give five stars to a book I did not enjoy, did not like, felt nothing special about and came very close to not finishing it? Because late in my life I had come to realize this: a translation can create and it can destroy. That the act of translating a literary work is not a neutral and mechanical act but a truly creative one. A bad translation can mangle a work beyond recognition; a good translation--as GR's Cynthia Nine attests vis-a-vis Coelho's regurgitations--is capable of turning out something even better than the original, like a much improved version of a crude prototype the author originally wrote. So in reading a work which is not in its original language it matters a lot which translation you read, and that you cannot really be sure, going gaga over a "masterpiece" you've just stumbled upon, if the same was excellence conceived or excellence in translation. I am sure I've read about several great writers, though at the moment I remember only Nabokov, who developed their literary muscles translating classics before they wrote their own. And so now I repent and ask forgiveness for my many sins of ingratitude, those countless occasions where I toasted the writers and their works while ignoring, forgetting and treating as completely insignificant their translators without whom I would have not been able to read what they've written at all.
But here, I commit no such sin. I do the opposite. I condemn the translator Haakon M. Chevalier who did a horrible job here, his only saving grace being that he was lucky. Lucky for having me as his reader, forced by the circumstances that I do not know French and do not have any other translation available, I who recognized the great plot (revolution, China's nascent communist movement), Andre Malraux's brilliant conceptions (terrorists, revolutionaries, their sacrifices and inescapable humanity), his stirring prose (faintly detected by myself, mostly imagined, but with moral certainty that it exists in the original French) all buried under the muck and mess this accursed translator managed to inundate these all with. Yet I cannot do anything about what enrages me: that he cannot thank me for this singular favor, as he is most likely dead already (the pocketbook I have has a 1961 copyright); while I, in turn, can only give five stars to this novel IN SPITE OF his translation, but cannot pump five bullets on the wrist of his writing hand as his well-deserved punishment and as my revenge.
Read information about the authorMalraux was born in Paris during 1901, the son of Fernand-Georges Malraux and Berthe Lamy (Malraux). His parents separated during 1905 and eventually divorced. He was raised by his mother and maternal grandmother, Berthe and Adrienne Lamy in the small town of Bondy. His father, a stockbroker, committed suicide in 1930. Andre had Tourette's Syndrome during his childhood, resulting in motor and vocal tics.
At the age of 21, Malraux left for Cambodia with his new wife Clara Goldschmidt. In Cambodia, he undertook an exploratory expedition into the Cambodian jungle. On his return he was arrested by French colonial authorities for removing bas-reliefs from one of the temples he discovered. Banteay Srei (The French government itself had removed large numbers of sculptures and artifacts from already discovered sites such as Angkor Wat around this time). Malraux later incorporated the episode into his second novel La Voie Royale.
Malraux became very critical of the French colonial authorities in Indochina, and during 1925 helped to organize the Young Annam League and founded a newspaper Indochina in Chains.
On his return to France, he published The Temptation of the West (1926) which had the format of an exchange of letters between a Westerner and an Asian comparing aspects of the two cultures. This was followed by his first novel The Conquerors (1928), then by The Royal Way (1930) which was influenced by his Cambodian experience, and then by Man's Fate (La Condition Humaine). For La Condition Humaine, a novel about the 1927 failed Communist rebellion in Shanghai, written with obvious sympathy for the Communists, he won the 1933 Prix Goncourt.
During the 1930s, Malraux was active in the anti-Fascist Popular Front in France. At the beginning of the Spanish Civil War he joined the Republican forces in Spain, serving in, and helping to organize, their small air force. His squadron, called "España", became something of a legend after his claims of nearly annihilating part of the Nationalist army at Medellín.
According to Curtis Cate, his biographer, he was slightly wounded twice during efforts to stop the Falangists' takeover of Madrid, but the British historian Hugh Thomas denies this. He also toured the United States to raise funds for the Spanish Republicans. A novel influenced by his Spanish war experiences, Man's Hope, (L'Espoir) was published during 1938.
At the beginning of the Second World War, Malraux joined the French Army. He was captured in 1940 during the Battle of France but escaped and later joined the French Resistance. He was captured by the Gestapo during 1944 and underwent a mock execution. He later commanded the tank unit Brigade Alsace-Lorraine in defence of Strasbourg and in the attack on Stuttgart (Germany). He was awarded the Médaille de la Résistance, the Croix de Guerre. He was also awarded the British Distinguished Service Order for his work with British liaison officers in Corrèze, Dordogne and Lot, and after Dordogne had been liberated, leading a battalion of former resistance fighters to Alsace-Lorraine where they fought alongside the First Army.
During the war he worked on a long novel, The Struggle with the Angel based on the story of the Biblical Jacob. The manuscript was destroyed by the Gestapo after his capture in 1944. A surviving first part titled The Walnut Trees of Altenburg, was published after the war. He would never write another novel.
Malraux and his first wife divorced during the 1940s. His daughter from this marriage, Florence (b.1933), married the filmmaker Alain Resnais.
Malraux had two sons by his second wife Josette Clotis: Pierre-Gauthier (1940-1961) and Vincent (1943-1961). During 1944, while Malraux was fighting in Alsace, Josette died when she slipped while boarding a train. His two sons were killed during 1961 in an automobile accident.
After the war, Malraux served in a variety of government p
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