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Extra info for André Malraux : towards the expression of transcendence
A va sans dire' ... "10 The comic seems to require the withholding of an emotional commitment - "l'6pargne d'une depense affective" according to Freud, "une anesthetic momentanee du cceur" for Bergson;11 it elicits primarily a complicity between author and reader at the level of the intellect. As such it is far too restrictive, even distanciating, a mechanism for an author who seeks to express concern, let alone real anguish. Henceforth, apart from occasional humour within the dialogue, in Malraux the comic, drastically reduced, is about to become indistinguishable from the tragic - the amusement of the aesthete will become the rictus of mortal man.
There, the working out in novelistic form of what Malraux seems to have distilled from his meditation on Lawrence culminates in what may well be the most succinct and exemplary formulation of Malraux's tragic vision - I refer to the little discussed Tibetan banner which, towards the end of the novel, serves as a backcloth to the human coupling on the bed below: "II [Ferral] regarda la peinture thibetaine: sur un monde d£colore ou erraient des voyageurs, deux squelettes exactement semblables s'etreignaient en transe.
Kassner la voyait a 1'envers. 6 On occasion in this novel free indirect style is modified and becomes, in the present tense, more akin to free direct style7 as Kassner7 s imagination, increasingly vivid under the strain of incarceration and torture, is so presented to the reader: Les popes sortis du tertre commencent a avancer, dalmatiques et tiares, sous les croix et les bannieres, et une irr£alite sans limites anime ce tr£sor en marche, cette folie d'orfevre lachee dans les champs boueux, avec toutes les barbes blanches et ces tremblotants reflets de perles et d'argent sous la lune.
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