André Gide cover

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André Gide

French novelist and essayist (1869-1951)

1869   -   1951


genre: novel, prose, dramaturgy
country of citizenship: France
native language: French
languages spoken, written or signed: French
educated at: Lycée Henri-IV, École alsacienne
occupation: journalist, film producer, essayist, playwright, novelist, diarist, travel writer, translator, autobiographer, writer, author, prosaist
award received: Nobel Prize in Literature, Goethe Plaque of the City of Frankfurt, Goethe-Medaille für Kunst und Wissenschaft
student of: Youra Guller
influenced by: Henry Fielding, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Victor Hugo, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Stéphane Mallarmé, Friedrich Nietzsche, Joris-Karl Huysmans, Rabindranath Tagore, Roger Martin du Gard, Oscar Wilde

André Paul Guillaume Gide (French: [ɑ̃dʁe pɔl ɡijom ʒid]; 22 November 1869 – 19 February 1951) 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. The author of more than fifty books, at the time of his death his obituary in The New York Times described him as "France's greatest contemporary man of letters" and "judged the greatest French writer of this century by the literary cognoscenti."Known for his fiction as well as his autobiographical works, Gide exposed to public view the conflict and eventual reconciliation of the two sides of his personality (characterized by a Protestant austerity and a transgressive sexual adventurousness, respectively), which a strict and moralistic education had helped set at odds. Gide's work can be seen as an investigation of freedom and empowerment in the face of moralistic and puritanical constraints, and centers on his continuous effort to achieve intellectual honesty. His self-exploratory texts reflect his search of how to be fully oneself, including owning one's sexual nature, without at the same time betraying one's values. His political activity was shaped by the same ethos, as indicated by his repudiation of communism after his 1936 journey to the USSR.
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